Representation Agreements

A Representation Agreement ends upon the adult’s death

Representation Agreements address health and personal-care management of incapable adults.  Representation Agreement Act sets out in Section 2 that its purpose is to allow adults to arrange in advance how, when and by whom, decisions about their health care or personal care, the routine management of their financial affairs or other matters will be made if they become incapable of making decisions independently.  Such an appointment avoids Court intervention in designating someone to help with making decisions.

Section 7 further sets out what kind of power may be granted by a representation agreement including: personal care; payment of bills; purchases of food, accommodation, etc.; making of investments; major and minor decisions in regard to health care; obtaining legal services and instructing of counsel.  Section 5 sets out that a representative must be an individual who is 19 years of age or older and may be the Public Guardian and Trustee or a trust company/credit union. More than one representative may be appointed.  Section 16 sets out duties of the representative, which include: acting honestly and in good faith; complying with the wishes of the adult while he/she is capable; exercising care, diligence and skill; and acting within the authority given in the Representation Agreement.

A Representation Agreement ends upon the adult’s death, adult’s own revocation or by application of the Patients Property Act.  If there is evidence of abuse or use of the Representation Agreement that is inconsistent with the terms set out in such an agreement itself, the Public Guardian and Trustee may get involved.  However, note that pursuant to Section 40 of the Power of Attorney Act, if a provision or section pertaining to an adult’s financial affairs made under the Representation Agreement Act, is inconsistent or is in conflict with a provision of an enduring power of attorney as made by the same adult, such a conflict will be resolved in favour of the provision in the enduring power of attorney.

In summary, it is important to understand the difference between the various grants of power – Power of Attorney, Representation Agreement or Committeeship, in order to make sure that all assets of a potential will-maker, as well as the will-maker him/herself, are adequately protected.

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