Using the Documents
Tips for Using the Legal Document(s)
This information is for those named in a Representation Agreement and/or an Enduring Power of Attorney under BC legislation.
Hopefully you are not in a middle of a crisis while educating yourself on how to use the personal planning document(s) effectively. If you are having difficulties or need personal help, you can book an appointment to speak with Nidus staff—click BOOK NOW in the right sidebar.
What do I need to know to use the documents effectively?
Legislation governing personal planning is what we call ‘enabling’ legislation. It provides a way for citizens to make their own arrangements to have a say over their affairs and avoid the involvement of the state/government through the default scheme.
Adults who have made personal planning documents have taken responsibility to make their own arrangements—not only for their sake but also to make things easier on a spouse, family and friends who care and want to help.
Knowing more about your rights and responsibilities in using the document will allow you to honour the adult’s wishes that you help advocate for their dignity and respect at times they are most vulnerable.
You will also likely discover that there has been no education about Representation Agreements in any sector. Some legal professionals do not seem to be aware of amendments that changed requirements affecting the making of Enduring Powers of Attorney.
Click on the links below or simply scroll down to read details of some things to get informed about:
What are my responsibilities and rights when using the document?
Nidus has produced fact sheets to explain the various roles of those named in a Representation Agreement and Enduring Power of Attorney. The fact sheets provide general information.
Role of a Representative or Alternate named in a Representation Agreement
Role of a Monitor named in a Representation Agreement
Role of an Attorney or Alternate Attorney named in an Enduring Power of Attorney
The duties of those appointed are also included in the legislation. Nidus provides these with its Representation Agreement forms/packages.
Representation Agreement Act – Section 16 and Section 20
Power of Attorney Act – Section 19
You also need to check and see if the legal document refers to additional or different responsibilities than the duties listed in the law. For example, the Representation Agreement Act allows for including specific wording in a Representation Agreement Section 9 document that limits the record keeping duties of the representative. (The wording to exempt representatives from extra record keeping must be included at the time the RA9 is signed and witnessed. RA9 forms provided by Nidus include this wording when these extra duties were added to the law on September 1, 2011.)
Who else is named in the document(s)?
Make sure you know who else is named in the document and their role and how you will communicate and work together.
For example if you are the representative and the other person is the alternate, then you will be contacted first. The alternate is a back-up.
What does the document say about when the alternate may act? Does it allow for flexibility if the representative is temporarily unable to act as well as for permanent situations? What kind of confirmation must be provided to a third party if needed to confirm that the alternate may act?
Nidus encourages everyone named in the document to work as a team. Even though the alternate is a back-up, they may have to act at short notice. Will they know what has been happening, where to find records and other needed information?
A monitor named in a Representation Agreement is not an alternate. They do not move up to become a representative. Their role is to act as a safeguard and extra support for the adult. They need to know what is going on and no one can prevent them from having access to the adult.
What authorities are given in the document(s)?
We strongly recommend that you read the information provided by Nidus for making the legal documents. You will find links to more details and the forms at Making the Documents. Once you determine the legal document you have and the path it comes from, you can read the details about the authorities covered by the document you are trying to use.
At the same time, you will need to check the wording in the document you are using. For example, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) can only be used to authorize someone to manage an adult’s financial and legal affairs. It cannot authorize someone to make health or personal care decisions, even if the document includes wording to this effect.
An EPA is the most comprehensive document for financial and legal affairs. In it, the adult can give their attorney the same authority for financial affairs that the adult would have. However, the EPA may list restrictions on the attorney’s authority. You need to read the document.
September 1, 2011 is an important date for the Enduring Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement. If you are using one or both of these documents and they were signed by the adult (and witnessed) prior to that date, you might like to read the Nidus fact sheets on amendments (changes) to the laws governing those documents.
Sept 1, 2011 amendments affecting the Enduring Power of Attorney
Sept. 1, 2011 amendments affecting Representation Agreement
How do I get a copy or the original of the legal document(s) and other relevant information?
If you don’t know have a copy of the document or you need to find the original, a good place to start your search is with the Personal Planning Registry. Cick on the Registry tab at the top and click ‘Search’ in the right sidebar.
If the document is registered, the record may give details on where the original is located and a copy of it may be uploaded. The Registry may include other valuable information to a representative or attorney. If a Personal Information Record was created, you may find contact information for important professionals and services as well as details about medical conditions, allergies and medications. Under Other Documents, the adult can register binding wishes for burial or cremation, a copy of their Will, and other documents they considered important.
If you are now having to act on the adult’s behalf, you may need to compile an inventory of the adult’s affairs— according to your areas of authority.
The Personal Planning Registry can be a great source of information as noted above or you can set up a Registry Account in the adult’s name to help you keep the information you gather centralized. Each adult should only have one Registry Account so check if there is an existing account. If not, talk to anyone else who is authorized in a legal document to decide who will create a Registry Account for the adult. Once the Account is in place, you can share registrations with others who may need viewing access, such as an alternate who may need to take over at short notice.
What are the legal requirements for making a valid document complete? Do I have all the paperwork assembled?
Check the legal document to find the date the adult signed it in front of the witness(es).
September 1, 2011 is an important date for the Enduring Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement. It is the date that amendments (changes) to the laws governing these documents came into effect.
If you are named in a Representation Agreement with Section 9 authorities that was made (signed and witnessed) before September, 1, 2011, you may need to get additional paperwork completed before the Agreement will be effective.
If you are named in an Enduring Power of Attorney that was made (signed and witnessed) before September 1, 2011, it will be titled ‘Power of Attorney.’ To check if it is an Enduring Power of Attorney, read the information in the box on page two of this Nidus fact sheet—Is it a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney?
Is the document in effect and ready-to-go? Do I have other steps to take?
You will need to review the document to see what it says. Sometimes the wording says that your authority will only come into effect upon satisfying specific conditions.
There are some events that will automatically end a document or a specific authority. Nidus has produced fact sheets to explain when a document may come into effect and when it may be ended.
Lifespan of a Representation Agreement
Lifespan of an Enduring Power of Attorney
How do I introduce the document(s) and myself to a third party?
Stay tuned for information on using a Representation Agreement with health and personal care institutions. We will also provide tips for using an Enduring Power of Attorney with a financial institution.
Can I use a document that was made in another province or country?
If you are trying to use personal planning documents made in another province or country, you will first need to get a lawyer from that jurisdiction to complete the relevant Certificate of Extrajurisdictional Solicitor. Often it is easier to make the BC documents.
BC legislation outlines the requirements that legal documents made outside the province must meet in order to be recognized in BC.
The document must have been made by the adult while they were living outside BC and ordinarily a resident:
–within Canada, except a Representation Agreement made in the Yukon, or
–within the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
Certificate of Extrajurisdictional Solicitor for RA9 — for a document about health and personal care matters made outside BC to be deemed a Representation Agreement Section 9 and effective in BC.
Certificate of Extrajurisdictional Solicitor for EPA — for a document about financial affairs made outside BC to be deemed an Enduring Power of Attorney and effective in BC.
If a document made in another province or country is accepted as a BC document, those named in it will need to learn about their role under BC law. See Role of a Representative if the document is being recognized for health and personal care (RA9); see Role of an Attorney if the document is being recognized for financial and legal affairs (EPA).