Are Executors the same as Power of Attorney?

Executor Not Equal to Power of Attorney

Executor ≠ Power of Attorney

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Written by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP®, Financial Advisor, Assante Financial Management Ltd.

One common source of confusion in estate planning is distinguishing between the roles of executor and Power of Attorney.


Your executor is the individual designated in your Will to oversee the administration of your estate. They may also serve as the trustee unless you specify otherwise.

Importantly, an executor’s authority only comes into effect upon your passing.

Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are crucial legal instruments utilized during your lifetime if you become incapacitated and are unable to handle your financial matters or make decisions regarding your medical or personal care.

Power of Attorney for Personal Care: This legal document appoints someone to act on your behalf concerning personal care and medical treatment if you’re unable to do so yourself. This encompasses decisions related to healthcare, housing, and other personal affairs.

• Power of Attorney for Property: This document designates an individual to manage your financial affairs if you’re incapacitated. The appointed party, known as the attorney or substitute decision-maker, can make decisions about your property, finances, and related matters.

Both are important, but there are separate roles and duties.

Further resources are below:

Planning your Wills and Powers of Attorneys

Executor Checklist

The Four Essential Family Conversations

For more information, refer to Preserving Wealth: The Next Generation – The definitive guide to protecting, investing, and transferring Wealth by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP® or schedule a call with Jack at 905-332-4403

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Jack Lumsden is a Financial Advisor with Assante Financial Management Ltd. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Assante Financial Management Ltd. Please contact him at 905.332.5503 or visit to discuss your circumstances before acting on the information above.

Insurance products are services provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc.

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