It may happen that at some point in your treatment, you become unable to handle your financial or health care decisions on your own. In such instances, family members are usually consulted. However, if there is a particular person you want to make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so, you must make that clear in a legal document.
Facts About Representation Agreements
The reason to write a Representation Agreement is to appoint someone as your legal representative to handle your financial, legal, personal care and health care decisions, if you are unable to make them on your own.
In British Columbia, if you do not have a Representation Agreement in place during your treatment, the responsibility for health care decisions automatically falls to your next of kin. This may not be the person you would choose. Or, you may prefer a friend.
In addition, unless designated by a Representation Agreement (or an Enduring Power of Attorney), your next of kin will not have the authority to manage your financial affairs.
Benefits of Making a Representation Agreement
Your wishes are at the centre of decisions affecting you.
You get help from those you choose, trust and who know you.
Those you choose will have the legal authority to help you.
You avoid extra costs, delay and conflicts that can result if there is no plan. It also eases the burden on others.
You avoid government involvement in your personal and private affairs.