Changes affecting the Documents
How to Make Changes to the Documents
What if I need to make changes to the legal document?
Do NOT make changes or alterations on the original of your legal document(s). This can create concerns for third parties.
It depends on the type of change whether or not you will need to cancel the existing document and make a new one. Read more under the headings below.
Nidus has also produced a fact sheet about Making Changes to a Representation Agreement. Much of the fact sheet also applies to an Enduring Power of Attorney. The information on this page addresses both documents.
What do I do if an address or phone number has changed?
A change of address or phone number for the adult or those named in the legal document(s) does not affect the validity of the legal document.*
Keep a note of any changes to contact information on a separate page and paperclip it to the original of the document(s). You may also want to keep a photocopy of the person’s old and new personal identification in case this information is needed to help keep track.
When you make new photocopies, you can neatly correct the phone number or address on the photocopy.
* If the adult (the person the legal document(s) belongs to) moves out of British Columbia, the document may no longer be effective in the new province or country. It will depend on whether the laws of the new jurisdiction recognize a planning document made in BC.
There is no fee to update contact information in the Personal Planning Registry. It is easy to do and those with viewing access will always see the most current information. This will be especially important in a medical emergency, for example, if your representative has a new phone. You can list up to three phone numbers per appointee.
What if someone’s legal name is changed?
Changes in a legal name does not affect the validity of a document. But it can be confusing for a third party who has to match up the person’s ID to the legal document(s). Do NOT make a change on the original.
The most common change occurs due to marriage/divorce. In BC, we understand that people can use their maiden and married names interchangeably. However, it is a good idea to keep a copy of the name change paperwork with the original planning document(s).
When you make photocopies of the original, you can neatly make the name change on the photocopy but it will be important to also attach a copy of the legal paperwork.
Including the name change paperwork makes it clear that the name change is for the same person listed in the document, not a different person. Otherwise a third party may reject the document thinking that you are trying to add different people to an existing legal document. (If you want to add someone new to your document, see the next heading.)
Only the Registrar can change names in the Personal Planning Registry. There is a fee of $10.00 to do this. If the adult or someone named in the legal document(s) changes their name and their personal ID it is a good idea to update this information in the Registry.
What if I need to change a person named in the legal document?
There are two procedures when there is a change of person in your legal document:
- You/the adult (the person the document belongs to) can revoke (cancel) the existing document and make a new one to name different people, or
- The person who is authorized by the document to act can resign and the existing document may be able to continue to be effective if someone else is named and able to act.
Where do we get the form for revoking/cancelling?
Nidus has information and forms to use for revoking (cancelling) an existing document—links are provided below.
Only the adult who made the document can revoke (cancel) it. At the time of revoking, they must meet the capability requirements required for making the document.
Making a new Representation Agreement or Enduring Power of Attorney does not automatically cancel the existing one. The law sets out specific procedures for adults to revoke a Representation Agreement or an Enduring Power of Attorney.
You also need to check the Representation Agreement or Enduring Power of Attorney to see if it there is wording that outlines additional steps required for revocation. Sometimes people with an episodic mental illness may add steps and complexity to guard against cancelling their document at a time when their illness is affecting their insight, which is when they most need the assistance. (This would require careful thought and help with special wording.)
Sometimes legal professionals will include a general revocation statement in a new Representation Agreement or Enduring Power of Attorney. This does not necessarily meet the requirements for a legal revocation in BC and it may also accidentally affect other documents such as a Power of Attorney at the bank or a Power of Attorney you are keeping to deal with property in another province. It is best to be specific about the document you are revoking by making a separate Revocation Notice and using the date and even listing those who were named in it.
We recommend saving the following documents to your computer and then opening them with the free Acrobat Reader program to read and use them.
Revoking a Representation Agreement
Revoking an Enduring Power of Attorney
Don’t forget to register the Notice of Revocation with the Registry. If the document being revoked was registered, you can prevent it from being found on a Registry search by registering the Notice of Resignation. Make sure you select that you want to revoke an existing document.
You can register a Revocation Notice for a document that has not been registered. Being able to communicate this kind of change is one of the most valuable aspects of the Personal Planning Registry service.
Where do we get the form for resigning?
Nidus has information and forms to use for resigning—links are provided below.
The law sets out specific procedures for a person who is named in a Representation Agreement or an Enduring Power of Attorney to resign.
You will need to read your document carefully to see if a resignation will allow the document to continue to be effective.
For example, if a monitor named in a Representation Agreement resigns, the Agreement is usually no longer valid. The adult needs to revoke the existing Agreement and make a new one. (There is no option to name an alternate monitor.) See the heading above for information on revoking.
If there is more than one representative or an alternate in the Representation Agreement or more than one attorney or an alternate in the Enduring Power of Attorney then the document may be able to continue to be effective even if one of them resigns. It will depend on the wording in the document. For example, if the wording says that the representatives or attorneys must act together (jointly) then the document may no longer be effective.
We recommend saving the following documents to your computer and then opening them with the free Acrobat Reader program.
Resigning from a Representation Agreement
Resigning from an Enduring Power of Attorney
Don’t forget to register the Notice of Resignation with the Registry. You can only register a Resignation for an existing registered document. Being able to communicate changes is one of the most valuable aspects of the Personal Planning Registry service.
What if someone is deceased?
Obviously if the adult (the person the document belongs to) dies, then the document is no longer in effect. Then the Will takes over. If there is no Will, then the default scheme will determine how the adult’s affairs are settled.
However, if someone who is named in the Representation Agreement (as a representative, alternate representative or monitor) or in the Enduring Power of Attorney (as an attorney or alternate attorney) dies, the document may still be able to continue. It will depend on the set-up or terms of the document.
The effect of the death of someone who is named to act is similar as if they resigned (see that section above). Usually if a monitor, named in a Representation Agreement, dies it means the adult will make a new Representation Agreement. It is a good idea to complete a Revocation Notice to be clear that the existing Agreement is ended.
If the existing Representation Agreement or Enduring Power of Attorney can continue to be used, it is a good idea to ask for a copy of the deceased person’s Death Certificate and keep it with the original document. Attach a photocopy of the Death Certificate to any new photocopies of the document.
If the Representation Agreement or Enduring Power of Attorney will continue to be used, register a Notice of Resignation using the Death Certificate. This makes clear that the person is deceased and avoids delay and confusion trying to figure out what or who has changed.
Using the Personal Planning Registry as a centralized location for planning documents and to keep information about changes updated keeps communication clear and current.