Friday, August 12, 2011

Appointing an Attorney in an Enduring Power of Attorney in B.C.

On September 1, 2011, amendments to the Power of Attorney Act in British Columbia will come into effect.

Section 18(1) through (3) sets out whom you may appoint as your attorney in an enduring power of attorney. It says:

18  (1) An adult may name one or more of the following persons as an attorney:
(a) an individual, other than an individual who
(i) provides personal care or health care services to the adult for compensation, or
(ii) is an employee of a facility in which the adult resides and through which the adult receives personal care or health care services;
(b) the Public Guardian and Trustee;
(c) a financial institution authorized to carry on trust business under the Financial Institutions Act.
(2) Despite subsection (1) (a), a spouse or near relative of the adult who receives compensation for providing personal care or health care services to the adult may be named as an attorney.
(3) If an individual who is not an adult is named as an attorney, the individual must not act as attorney until that individual is an adult.
Up until these amendments, you could appoint a paid caregiver or an employee in a facility in which you resided and received care as an attorney. Now you cannot, unless the paid caregiver or employee is your spouse, child or parent. or near relative, which is defined as an "adult child, a parent, a grandparent, an adult brother or sister or any other adult relation by birth or adoption." [When I first posted this, I made an error, which I have now crossed out and corrected. The crossed out portion was in original Bill 7 amending the Power of Attorney Act, but that billl was subsequently amended. Thank you to Joanne Taylor, Executive Director of the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, for pointing this out.]

Interestingly, you will now be able to appoint someone who is under the age of majority, but he or she cannot act until attaining the age of 19.

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