Powers of Attorney 101

With support from The Law Foundation of Ontario, and the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work, Institute for Life Course and Aging, CanAge has launched the Powers of Attorney course series! How to Be a Power of Attorney in Ontario – A Free Course for Everyone.

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge (Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization) will create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to teach everyday Ontarians how to be an Attorney appointed by a Power of Attorney for Personal Care and/or Property. Course Modules are outlined below:

  • Choosing an Attorney
  • Pros and Cons of accepting the position of an Attorney – is it right for you?
  • What do you have to do as an Attorney for Property / Personal Care?
  • Mental Capacity – theirs and yours!
  • How to start acting as an Attorney and what does this mean?
  • Consent – what does it mean for a substitute decision-maker & how do you do it?
  • Working with Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Working with Health Care Professionals
  • Skills in managing conflict with family
  • What if you are a joint attorney? How to work together -joint and several roles
  • How do I take a matter to the Consent and Capacity Board? What does it do?
  • How do I take a matter to Court? Pros and Cons
  • Giving up the job – Removing yourself as an Attorney
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect
  • Trust Accounting for Attorneys
  • Passing of Accounts
  • Being a Monitor or working with one appointed in a POA
  • The Role of the Public Guardian and Trustee – and working with them
  • The Role of the Courts – what you need to know
  • Can I be paid? – how do I charge for my time or for expenses?
  • What happens when someone dies?

This MOOC will include course materials, filmed lectures, tip sheets and checklists. Once created, it will be maintained on the University of Toronto server network. The launch Date is July 2021.

About Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll. MOOCs provide an innovative, affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance knowledge and deliver quality educational experiences at scale. A MOOC is aimed at unlimited participation and open access on the internet.

Focus Group

​Before we launch the course, we will gather research from a focus group. If you are interested in joining the virtual focus group or the Powers of Attorney 101 MOOC please sign-up before January 18, 2021.

​Being part of the focus group means you will review some of the course modules and provide feedback on course content, module development, and resource impact. The focus group will meet (virtually) twice in February 2021 for about 2 hours per session. Each focus group will consist of 10 participants.


The Community-Academic Link (CAL) program will build new and ongoing bridges amongst undergraduate and graduate Social Work students, Public Health and other Health Sectors, Public Policy and Law. The goal will be to connect and network with each other and also engage with key organizations working to support older adults, including not-for-profit community organizations, for-profit employers such as law firms and mediation communities, and government sectors. Cross-sectoral capacity building in the aging sector is critically important in today’s aging population. The CAL program aims to support relationship and capacity building in a trans-disciplinary and community-engaged fashion.

Mental Capacity and Powers of Attorney: Resources

  • Power of Attorney Kit: Ministry of the Attorney General and a List of Questions and Answers 
  • Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) 
  • Guide to the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act: Ministry of Attorney General 
  • Represent a Client: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) 

Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

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