Representation Agreements

"Mary K. is a 24-year old woman suffering from a mental illness that often leaves her feeling bewildered and confused. She sometimes worries about her ability to maintain her day-to-day affairs and knows that eventually she will need the help of a trusted family member or friend."

Mary K's case is a classic example of where a Representation Agreement would help Mary to cope with daily living, should she become incapacitated.

What is a Representation Agreement?

A Representation Agreement provides a mechanism for adults to appoint someone in advance to help them with their personal care, health care and financial dealings should they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. One or more persons can act as a representative and can be a trusted friend or family member, a public body, a credit union/trust company that handles the adult's finances or assets, etc. to help the adult make decisions, or, in times of incapability, to make decisions on behalf of the adult. This can include: paying bills, purchase of food, deciding who and where the adult will reside, who will look after their children, any required legal services and more.

Who should have a Representation Agreement?

Everyone should have an agreement in place, because anyone at anytime could become incapacitated. The agreement would ensure that the adult is cared for in the best possible manner, and that their wishes are adhered to.

How is a Representation Agreement different from an Enduring Power of Attorney?

They are different. Enduring Power of Attorney documents are being replaced however by Representation Agreements. Both are instruments by which an individual plans for their possible future incapacity but a Representation Agreement can be a more comprehensive document and only is in effect during the onset of incapacity. Existing Enduring Power of Attorney documents remain in effect but Representation Agreements will soon become the only tool. A Power of Attorney is a different document again - it is still the appointment of an agent to handle financial matters and can be used at any time whereas a Representation Agreement is in effect only when the adult is incapacitated. It offers greater protection to an adult who may be vulnerable due to age, gender, health, disability, language, etc..

How do I do a Representation Agreement?

In order for it to be binding, the agreement must be in writing. The agreement becomes effective the date it is executed unless it states it is to be effective at a later date. It also becomes effective when an event occurs. Guidelines and more information on Representation Agreements are available at http://www.nidus.ca.

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Representation Agreements

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