A power of attorney is a legal document where one person gives another person the power and authority to act on his or her behalf.

The person giving the power is called the donor; the person receiving it is called the "donee" or "agent".

A power of attorney typically refers to the power to make financial and property decisions. Typically a different legal document is used for decisions about personal care, although in some provinces such as New Brunswick, personal care and financial matters can be in the same document.

There are several different types of powers of attorney in Canada. Each province uses slightly different language, and very importantly, each has different laws for making and relying on these powerful documents.

However powers of attorney can be divided into two broad categories; a) those that start immediately and b) those that start or continue even if the person becomes mentally incapable.

Immediate

Enduring

 

Resources:

NATIONAL

Western Canada Law Reform Agencies (2008) Enduring Power of Attorney Areas for Reform. Also available at: www.law.ualberta.ca/alri

 

ONTARIO

 Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (2008)

Power of Attorney for Personal Care (2008) 24 pages

 

ALBERTA

Oaknet (Older Adult Knowledge Network) http://www.oaknet.ca

 

SASKATCHEWAN

Public Legal Association of Saskatchewan. Power of Attorney. Revised 2008.

 

NOVA SCOTIA

Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia Power of Attorney December 2005

 

NEW BRUNSWICK

Public Legal Education and Information Society of New Brunswick. Powers of Attorney. 2002.

 

QUÉBEC

 

ORGANIZATIONS

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association Advance Care Planning-Definitions 2008