Most people sign two Powers of Attorney – one for Property (money and finances) and one for Personal Care.
However, if circumstances require it, a person can sign additional Powers of Attorney, generally relating to Property. For example, if you own real estate in another province or country, you may wish to sign a limited or specified Power of Attorney for Property (following that Province’s or Country’s laws to ensure it would be found valid there) and restrict that attorney to only have power to deal with the real estate located there, according to the laws of that country. These are called Situs Powers of Attorney.
If you own property in multiple locations, a limited or specified Power of Attorney for Property for each such location is appropriate.
If you, as most people do, signed a general Power of Attorney for Property in Ontario authorizing your attorney to deal with any and all of your property, but only upon a finding that you had become mentally incapacitated, but you planned a trip abroad for a year and wanted your attorney to arrange for your house to be sold, you would sign a limited or specified Power of Attorney for Property authorizing them to only take such steps as were necessary to sell your property, but not authorizing any other action. Your previously signed Power of Attorney for Property would remain in force.
There are risks in choosing one person to act as your attorney. If you want to protect your property from the possibility that your attorney might suffer a financial crisis and ‘borrow’ from your assets to settle a gambling debt or shopping addiction or other money crisis, which they may never be capable of repaying, the best way to protect yourself is to name two attorneys acting jointly.
This, too, can be complicated because they would have to make decisions together, and reach agreement together, but it would provide your assets with protection since it is unlikely that one attorney would approve the other attorney borrowing from your assets for any reason. However, you must ensure that you choose two individuals who could work co-operatively.