Duties of an Attorney

Posted on: April 2, 2012

Duties of an Attorney

An attorney must act honestly and in good faith; exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person; act within the authority given in the enduring power of attorney and under any applicable law, and keep certain records and produce those records for inspection and copying at your request. When managing and making decisions about your financial affairs, your attorney must act in your best interests, taking into account your current wishes, known beliefs and values, and any directions you give to the attorney in your enduring power of attorney.

An attorney must do all of the following:

  • to the extent reasonable, give priority when managing your financial affairs to meeting your personal care and health care needs;
  • unless the enduring power of attorney states otherwise, invest your property only in accordance with the Trustee Act;
  • to the extent reasonable, foster your independence and encourage your involvement in any decision making that affects you;
  • not dispose of property that your attorney knows is subject to a specific testamentary gift in your Will, except if the disposition is necessary to comply with your attorney’s duties;
  • to the extent reasonable, keep your personal effects at your disposal.

Your attorney must keep your property separate from his or her own property. However, unless the enduring power of attorney states otherwise, this does not apply to property that is jointly owned by you and your attorney as joint tenants.


Attorney’s powers

Your attorney may make a gift or loan, or charitable gift, from your property if your enduring power of attorney permits your attorney to do so or if

  • you will have sufficient property remaining to meet your personal care and health care needs and the need of your dependants, and to satisfy your other legal obligations, if any
  • you, when capable, made gifts or loans, or charitable gifts, of that nature, and
  • the total value of all gifts, loans and charitable gifts in a year is equal to or less than a prescribed value (the lesser of 10% of your taxable income for the previous year or $5000).

An attorney may receive a gift or loan from you if the enduring power of attorney permits. Permission for your attorney to make a gift or loan must be express, and may be in relation to a specific gift or loan, or charitable gift, or to gifts or loans, or charitable gifts, generally. Your attorney may retain the services of a qualified person to assist him or her in doing anything you have authorized the attorney to do.



The information provided on this website is merely an informative guide and should not be relied upon for legal advice. It is intended to provide general information only. It is recommended that you see a lawyer about your particular legal situation and request legal advice.

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