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Power of Attorney

The purposes of the Power of Attorney (“POA”) are usually limited to making financial decisions on behalf of the grantor.

The POA may be given for specific acts in specific circumstances (such as when the grantor is not available for specific transaction), or it may be general allowing the attorney to do anything on behalf of the grantor that grantor might have legally done himself or herself, or it can be an enduring power of attorney that will allow the attorney to deal with the grantor’s finances in the event grantor becomes incapacitated.

Representation Agreements (BC)

The purpose of Representation Agreement is to provide a mechanism for adults to arrange in advance how, when and by whom, decisions will be made if they become incapable of making such decisions independently about their:

  • Health care;
  • Personal care;
  • Financial affairs; and/or
  • Any other matters.

Execution of such agreement avoids the need for the court to appoint such a representative, who may not be a person the now incapable adult would have chosen and who may not deal with the matters the way the adult would have wanted.

Protection of the Grantor

The Representation Agreement provides a much greater degree of protection then the POA to the adult, who gives the power to make decisions on his behalf to other people.  While the Power of Attorney Act only imposes age limitation: the attorney must be the age of majority, which is 19 years old.  The Representation Agreement Act sets out categories of persons who cannot be a representative, provides mechanisms for monitoring of the representative, both, monitors and representatives having standard of care and liability imposed on them.  There is a mechanism for initiating investigation into the acts of the representative; it can be initiated by anyone by application to the Public Guardian and Trustee office, which will investigate, make decision and take action.  Thus, it is much harder to ensure that the attorneys are not abusing the powers given to them under the POA in the event the grantor is not in a position to control the attorney by reason of incapacity or poor health as compared to ensuring that is not done by the representatives appointed under the Representation Agreement.