What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement?

These two, very different incapacity planning documents, are often confused. An Enduring Power of Attorney is the document of choice for most people who wish to plan for the management of their financial affairs in the event of incapacity.

An Attorney must act honestly and in good faith in relation to the Donor’s legal & financial affairs. An Attorney must exercise the care diligence and skill of a ‘reasonably prudent person’ and act within his/her authority granted under the Enduring Power of Attorney. A paid caregiver is specifically prohibited from acting as an Attorney for the adult.

A Representation Agreement allows you to appoint a person to make decisions on your behalf in relation to your health care matters, not your financial affairs. The person or person(s) you appoint must follow the wishes that you expressed while capable. This gives you control over who will be acting on your behalf in relation to your health care. It allows you to plan for the following, for example:

  • Who you would like to make your health/medical/personal care decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated?
  • What types of heath care treatments you would consent to or refuse if a healthcare provider has recommended them?
  • Under what circumstances would you consent to or refuse these types of treatments?
  • What type of extended health care facility would you prefer to live in, in the event that you are unable to be cared for at home?

Although they are very different documents, they are both extremely important to have in place.

This is provided as information ONLY; it should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to provide you with specific advice for your own situation. For more information on Estate Planning and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Vanessa DeDominicis on 250-869-1140 or [email protected]. Vanessa practices in the area of Real Estate and Wills/Estates at Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna and would be more than happy to assist you!

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