Westcoast Wills and Probate LawyerVancouver | North Vancouver | Burnaby | Squamish
Westcoast WillsVancouver | North Vancouver | Burnaby | Squamish
A representation agreement allows someone you choose to make personal and health care decisions for you if you have lost the capacity to do so yourself. They are made legal by the Representation Agreement Act of BC.
A Representation Agreement is a legally binding contract in which you authorize your representative to act on your behalf and you give them specific instructions about your health care wishes should you become incapacitated in the future. Having an Agreement in place helps to relieve some of the stress placed on your loved ones when making potentially life-altering decisions on your behalf. The Agreement usually only comes into full effect when you are no longer capable of giving informed consent to a major health care decision. Until that time, your representative may be able to help you make decisions about your health care.
Your Health Care Advocate
We hear often that sometimes patients slip between the cracks in our healthcare system. Having a Representation Agreement in place ensures that you’ll have an advocate that can stand up for you when the time comes. They will have access to your medical records, be able to ask for second opinions, be able to hire support workers for you to continue to live at home and much more.
Living Will and Advance Directives in BC
- Representation Agreements differ from Living Wills in a number of ways. Living Wills typically only state end-of-life wishes and are considered by some to be only morally binding documents in BC. Representation Agreements are legally binding on the representatives, and authorize them to make most personal and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- Representation Agreements differ from Advance Directives because they cover a broader variety of circumstances and they bind one or more representatives to act on your behalf. Advance Directives are akin to living wills, in that they typically only state end-of-life wishes, but unlike living wills, they are legally binding in BC.
Next Steps – Get a Representation Agreement
See why you need a Representation Agreement here on our blog.
The estate planning lawyers at Westcoast Wills & Estates recommends to most clients that they have either a Representation Agreement or an Advance Directive in place in addition to a Will and Power of Attorney.