There may come a time where you are unable to make decisions for yourself. During this time, ensure that your wishes are followed by having a legal attorney representation agreement.

An attorney representation agreement is sometimes called a living will. It outlines how you wish to be treated if you are catastrophically injured or have a terminal illness and are unable to express yourself.

 

Who needs an attorney representation agreement?

 

Anyone 19 years of age or older can have a representation agreement created at any time as long as they are mentally capable and of sound mind. It’s especially important when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or other condition where your ability to communicate may be significantly hindered or taken away completely.

Mental incapacity can be a gradual process or happen suddenly as the result of a workplace injury, car accident, or any other unexpected circumstances. Having a representation agreement while you are healthy and of sound mind will cover you should the unexpected happen.  

 

What’s in an attorney representation agreement?

 

In this agreement, you will designate a person to represent you and make important decisions when you can not. The agreement is essentially written documentation of your wishes and instructions. The document gives your representative the authority to handle personal and health decisions, as well as legal and financial affairs on your behalf.  

 

Does my representative have absolute power?

 

This is completely up to you. Your attorney representation agreement can be as specific (limiting the power to certain, predetermined responsibilities) or broad (giving them the discretion to make any and all decisions on your behalf that they deem necessary).

 

Who can I name my representative?

 

In BC, You can choose anyone to represent you as long as they are of legal age, of capable mind, and willing to act as your representative. The best representative is someone you trust, someone who shares similar values, and someone who is comfortable handling money if your representation agreement requires it.

If you have no close friends or family you can appoint a credit union or trust company, or the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC. Their powers may be limited in some situations and will incur costs so inquire before adding them to your agreement.

When you’re seeking an attorney to create your representation agreement, consider our team at Dreyer Davison who has 45 years experience in estate planning. Learn more about Will and Estate planning or contact them to discuss your plans.