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The Journey Project



Enduring Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person the legal authority to act on your behalf in relation to your finances while you are living and still have capacity. This power can be granted for a specific period of time and for specific financial tasks, or it can be very general. Note that the Power of Attorney deals only with financial matters, and does not involve decisions about health care treatment or the authority to deal with a person’s estate after they die.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a specific type of Power of Attorney meant to be exercised after the person granting the power of attorney loses his or her legal capacity. Completing this document and granting this power gives someone else the authority to handle your finances if you no longer have the mental capacity to understand the effects of your decisions and actions related to your financial affairs.

Note that an Enduring Power of Attorney may be its own separate document, or may be included as part of a General Power of Attorney, as long as language is included to make the Power of Attorney enduring and allow it to continue having effect after the donor (the person making the document) loses capacity.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act sets out the basic requirements for creating an Enduring Power of Attorney document.


Some of the requirements for creating a legally valid Enduring Power of Attorney in Newfoundland and Labrador include that the document must be:

  • Written;
  • Signed by the person granting power of attorney (the “donor”) and signed by one independent witness (meaning someone other than the person receiving power of attorney or that person’s spouse or cohabiting partner);
  • Include language that makes clear the Power of Attorney is meant to continue having effect after the donor loses legal capacity. This is what makes this document an “Enduring” Power of Attorney as opposed to a General Power of Attorney. Note that there is no specific language required for this condition, but the section must either explicitly state or imply that the document will continue having effect during the mental incapacity of the donor.

The primary aim of the Enduring Power of Attorney is to name someone who will act as attorney and manage your financial affairs when you are no longer able to do so because of the loss of legal capacity. This person must be at least 19 years of age or older.

As well, you may be as specific or as general as you wish in the Enduring Power of Attorney in terms of granting authority to the person acting as your attorney. What this means is that you may grant the attorney authority to handle all of your financial affairs or you might restrict the power to only certain areas and transactions. For example, a power of attorney might be completed only to allow someone else to sell your house on your behalf, but to do nothing else when it comes to your finances.

Please note that you may cancel or revoke any Enduring Power of Attorney documents you have made, as long as you still have the legal capacity to do so.

Note as well that these requirements are related to creating a legally valid Enduring Power of Attorney under the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act of Newfoundland and Labrador. Individual financial institutions, such as banks, may have their own policies, procedures, and forms for creating an Enduring Power of Attorney or General Power of Attorney for use at that institution. It is recommended to check with banks, financial institutions, or other locations where an Enduring Power of Attorney may be used to ensure that the specific policies and requirements for that institution are met.

Wills and Estates