Want to make sure someone protects your health and personal care wishes if you get sick? A Representation Agreement does that.
What is a Representation Agreement?
A Representation Agreement is a document that appoints someone to help you with health care and personal care decisions.
The person you name to help you is called a Representative. You will give your Representative a range of powers in your Representation Agreement. A Representative can either help you make a wide range of decisions, or they can make these decisions for you if you become incapable.
For example, if you are not incapable, but you want a family member to come with you to appointments, and to consult with your caregivers, you can appoint them as a Representative, so they can help you with these decisions. If you become incapable, your Representative can make these decisions on your behalf, following your wishes.
What can a Representative do?
Depending on the type of Representation Agreement you make, your Representative might be able to help you with your health care, personal care or even your finances.
Personal care decisions involve your quality of life – this includes simple things like where you live, but also more complicated things such as who you associate with.
“personal care” includes matters respecting
(a) the shelter, employment, diet and dress of an adult,
(b) participation by an adult in social, educational, vocational and other activities,
(c) contact or association by an adult with other persons, and
(d) licences, permits, approvals or other authorizations of an adult to do something;
A Representative can also help you make health care decisions.
“health care” means anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other purpose related to health, and includes
(a) a series or sequence of similar treatments or care administered to an adult over a period of time for a particular health problem,
(b) a plan for minor health care that
(i) is developed by one or more health care providers,
(ii) deals with one or more of the health problems that an adult has and may, in addition, deal with one or more of the health problems that an adult is likely to have in the future given the adult’s current health condition, and
(iii) expires no later than 12 months from the date consent for the plan was given, and
(c) participation in a medical research program approved by an ethics committee designated by regulation;
Health care decisions might include minor health care issues, such as routine dental checkups or minor tests to see if more care is necessary, or major health care decisions such as having a surgery, or major diagnostic tests.
In some more narrow and specific cases, a Representative can also help you with routine financial matters.
Can a Representative deal with my finances?
Most Representation Agreements deal with health care and personal care. These Representation Agreements are called “Section 9 Representation Agreements”, or sometimes “Advanced Representation Agreements”. Section 9 Representation Agreements only deal with health care and personal care, not finances.
However, there is also a version of a Representation Agreement called a “Section 7 Representation Agreement”. This kind of Representation Agreement is sometimes called a “Standard Representation Agreement”.
Section 7 Representation Agreements allow your Representative to do more restricted health and personal care work for you, but they also allow your Representative to carry out routine financial affairs, which can include:
(b) routine management of the adult’s financial affairs, including, subject to the regulations,
(i) payment of bills,
(ii) receipt and deposit of pension and other income,
(iii) purchases of food, accommodation and other services necessary for personal care, and
(iv) the making of investments;
Do a need a Section 7 Representation Agreement or a Section 9 Representation Agreement?
These two kinds of Representation Agreements are very different.
A Section 7 Representation Agreement is usually intended for people who do not have full mental capacity at the time they make the document.
A Section 9 Representation Agreement is usually intended for people who have full capacity, and who want to give their Representative a full range of powers for health and personal care. A Section 9 Representation Agreement is usually paired with a Power of Attorney.
When you come to discuss these issues with us, we will talk to you about these two versions of a Representation Agreement, and which one would be right for you.
Do I need a BC Lawyer or a BC Notary to make my Representation Agreement?
You can have either a BC Notary or a BC Lawyer draft your Representation Agreement.