PERSONAL PLANNING: Representation Agreements Q & A

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A Representation Agreement  authorizes your personal supporters to help you manage your affairs or make decisions on your behalf if you need assistance due to illness, injury or disability.

What is a Representation Agreement?

A Representation Agreement is the only way to authorize someone (the “Representative”) to assist you or to act on your behalf for health care and personal care matters. A section 7 Standard Representation Agreement can also cover routine financial affairs and legal matters.

Who should I appoint as my Representative?

Most people appoint a spouse or partner, family member, or friend, in their Agreement. The law has some restrictions. There are many factors to consider when choosing who to involve in your Representation Agreement, such as: your trust in them, their skills and abilities, and their understanding of your wishes and values.

You cannot appoint:

  someone who is compensated to provide health or personal care services to you (e.g. a paid caregiver);             

  an employee of a facility where you live if the facility provides health or personal care services to you. (These restrictions do not apply if the person is your spouse, parent or child.)

Representatives, alternate representatives, and the monitor are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to carrying out their duties.

The law says you cannot pay a representative for making health care decisions on your behalf. If you want to pay your representative(s) a fee for other areas of authority, this must be spelled out in the Agreement and it must be authorized by the B.C. Supreme Court.

Learning more about Representation Agreements>>

When should I make a Representation Agreement?

The best time to make a Representation Agreement is before a crisis occurs. When you turn 19 years old (the age of majority in B.C.) parental rights end and no one, not even your spouse, has legal authority to manage your affairs if you cannot do so. This may present a problem if you need help due to an illness or injury.

Can I revoke my Representation Agreement?

Yes, you can revoke/cancel your Representation Agreement. The Representation Agreement Act outlines specific requirements for revoking. Making a new Representation Agreement does not automatically cancel your previous one.

When does a Representation Agreement end?

A Representation Agreement ends if you revoke it or when you die. An Agreement also ends if someone is appointed to be your legal guardian (i.e. Committee of Estate and/or Committee of Person) through the B.C. Supreme Court.

What is not covered by a Representation Agreement?

When people are planning for the future, it is common that they will make an Enduring Power of Attorney to cover financial and legal affairs and a Representation Agreement to cover health and personal care matters. Making an Enduring Power of Attorney is important if you own real estate property, as the authority for routine financial affairs under the Representation Agreement does not include dealing with real estate.