When to use Powers of Attorney
You may find yourself needing another individual to help you manage your financial and legal affairs, including your real property and assets. You can prepare a power of attorney that legally designates another individual, known as an attorney, to manage your affairs when you are no longer able or it has become inconvenient for you to do so, such as when you are out of the country, or when you have suffered an injury.
When to use Representation
For end-of-life and other healthcare support needs, you can prepare a representation agreement. A representation agreement is a legal planning document that allows you to record your expressed wishes and designate the person or persons who will make personal or healthcare decisions for you, or assist you in making decisions, if you become incapable of making those decisions on your own. The person you so choose is called your representative.
Powers of attorney can be prepared in many different ways. An enduring power of attorney allows the attorney to exercise his or her powers after you become incapable; whereas, a limited power of attorney can be prepared for a specific transaction. It is important to prepare these personal planning documents sooner rather than later, or you may miss the opportunity to have a say in who gets to make decisions on your behalf.
Choosing an Attorney
Deciding whom to empower to act on your behalf is an important decision to make. The selected individual or individuals should understand the role and must be trusted to exercise the power granted.
It is important to be clear in the directions you leave and expectations you have for the individuals you have appointed as your attorneys. BKS Law will assist you with drafting documents that outline what attorneys are permitted and not permitted to do as well as any trust conditions you are placing on them. If the attorney abuses this power, we can help other members of your family protect your legal rights and interests.
Under the BC Representation Agreement Act, there are two kinds of representation agreements individuals can make – section 7 representation agreements and section 9 representation agreements. Most individuals prepare section 9 representation agreements, which give the named representative general powers to help you make decisions and to make decisions on your behalf with respect to your health care and your personal care.
Choosing a Representative
It is important that you give careful consideration to who you name to act as your representative and alternate representative. You can choose more than one representative in your representation agreement if you wish.
With a full understanding of the people in your world and your financial circumstances, together with your wishes and objectives, BKS Law can prepare the incapacity planning tools that you need – such as a power of attorney document and/or representation agreement – to meet your needs.
When putting these documents in place, we will consider and advise as to how you can reduce the likelihood of conflict among your appointed attorney and/or representative, family members and others who may have an interest in your affairs.