British Columbia representation agreements

Representation agreements are important documents in the estate planning process. They are essential for advanced care planning and personal planning, and once set up, they are legally enforceable documents. They generally go into effect in situations where the individual who created the representation agreement becomes incapacitated, and they give special powers to the representative named by the agreement -- specifically to make health care-related and end-of-life-related decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.

The representation agreement is the only means of authorizing an individual to make decisions on behalf of someone else with regard to personal care and health care matters. The representation agreement may also give the representative authority to make decisions pertaining to legal and financial matters. Incapacitating conditions caused by injury, illness or disability could cause the representation agreement to go into effect.

When creating a representation agreement, estate planners and/or their representatives will be able to choose from different styles of agreements. The estate planner's mental capacity when drawing up the agreement will determine which style is appropriate given the situation. For example, if the representation agreement is for an individual who is mentally incapable of making decisions for him or herself, the situation will require a different kind of agreement compared to an individual who is capable of making decisions for him or herself.

A British Columbia estate planning lawyer can assist individuals and/or their representatives in creating a representation agreement that suits their specific individual needs. Since no one person, and no one family, is the same, it is preferable to have a customized representation agreement that will survive attempts to challenge the document later on down the road.

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