Duties of an Attorney for Property

(This is an edited version of our Client Guide which provides general information and is made available to our clients to assist them to understand the duties of an attorney under a power of attorney for property. This is not intended to constitute legal advice, which by its nature is situation specific. If you have questions about a specific legal problem, you should consult a lawyer who will provide legal advice only after reviewing all the facts relevant to your situation before providing that advice, rather than relying on the general information provided in this Guide.)

An attorney for property is a fiduciary who must exercise and perform his or her obligations diligently, with honesty, integrity, and in good faith for the benefit of the person who has granted the power. An attorney who acts without compensation shall exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the conduct of his or her affairs. If an attorney receives compensation, he or she is held to the standard of care, diligence and skill that a person in the business of managing the property of others is required to exercise. An attorney for property is liable for damages resulting from a breach of the attorney’s duties unless relieved of such liability by a court which is satisfied that the attorney acted honestly, reasonably and diligently. The Substitute Decisions Act imposes the following specific duties on an attorney under a power of attorney for property:

An attorney for property is required by Regulation under the Substitute Decisions Act to maintain the following records and accounts:

These records must be retained by the attorney until a release is obtained from a person entitled to provide it or court order. If a new attorney is appointed, the records maintained by the prior attorney must be delivered to the new or substitute attorney. On death, the records must be delivered to the estate trustee for the deceased incapable person.

Where a question arises concerning the management of the property of an incapable person, an application may be brought to the court for directions.



Any questions? If you have any questions about your responsibilities, please contact us at:

W. Bruce Drake
Hooey · Remus
Telephone: (416) 362-2051
Facsimile: (416) 362-3646
Suite 400, 1 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2P1

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This page was originally created on July 3, 1996 and was last updated on January 1, 2001.
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