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POA Weekly – Week 6: What is the Standard of Care Owed by an Attorney for Property?

The standard of care that an Attorney, under a POA for Property must exercise in managing property, in part, depends on whether, or not, compensation is being taken or received.  Where no compensation is taken, the attorney is required to exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the conduct of his or her own affairs.[1]  The standard of care increases where the attorney receives compensation.  An attorney in this case would be required to exercise a degree of care, diligence and skill that a person in the business of managing the property of others is required to exercise.[2]

An Attorney for Property is liable for damages resulting from a breach of duty.[3]  The Attorney for Property may be relieved from all, or part of this liability, if the court is satisfied that the attorney nevertheless acted honestly, reasonably and diligently.[4]

[1] Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, SO 1992, c 30, s. 32(7), s. 38(1).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid at s. 33(1), s. 38(1).

[4] Ibid at s. 33(2), s. 38(1).

This paper is intended for the purposes of providing information only and is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This paper is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive.


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