What Is A Representation Agreement?
A representation agreement is a legal document which allows individuals to plan for the possibility of future incapacity. This type of agreement allows an adult to name another person to manage their personal and health care needs and the routine management of their financial matters if they become or are incapable of making decisions independently. However, a representation agreement is not legally required to receive any good or service.
How do you define "Incapability"?
Under the law, every adult is presumed to be capable until the contrary is demonstrated. Thus, any adult may make a representation agreement unless they are proven incapable of doing so.
To determine an adult’s capacity, there are many relevant factors to consider. For example, whether an adult communicates a desire to have a representative make, help make, or stop making decisions, and whether an adult demonstrates choices and preferences and can express feelings of approval or disapproval of others.
What Decisions Can a Representative Make?
As mentioned, an appointed representative can make decisions regarding a person’s health care, personal needs, and routine financial affairs, but the adult can assign to each representative the extent of their authority and over what areas.
For clarity, an adult may authorize the representative to help the adult make decisions about major and minor health care decisions as defined in the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act. Under the statutory definition, “health care” means anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventative, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other purpose related to health.
Additionally, under the Representation Agreement Act, “personal care” can include matters such as:
- their shelter, employment, diet and dress
- their participation in social, educational, vocational and other activities
- contact or association by an adult with other persons
- licenses, permits, approvals or other authorizations to do something
Finally, decisions involving the “routine management of an adult’s financial affairs” can include: the payment of bills, receipt and deposit of pension and other income, purchases of food, accommodation and other services necessary for personal care, and the making of investments.
Most importantly, a representative has a duty to act honestly and in good faith, and to act within the authority given in the representation agreement.