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Exactly what is a representation agreement?

Representation agreement is a term clients looking into estate planning often hear. With all the terminology associated with estate planning, it can be difficult for the ordinary person to keep up. It is a good idea to explore all of the options available to you and asking questions is a great way to learn more.

In British Columbia, citizens often choose to create a representation agreement because it answers the potential need to appoint a person who can make decisions on their behalf. This might be necessary if a person should become incapacitated in some way through physical or mental illness.

Specifically, it is a personal planning legal document you can create that authorizes the person of your choice to become your representative. This representative can then manage your affairs according to your expressed wishes. Your representative can also make important decisions for you about your health care as well as your personal matters.

You can choose whoever you like to serve as your representative, but you should make sure that person is agreeable to the appointment. Often, people pick a family member or a close friend. The person you choose can reside in a different city or province and can even live in another country. However, you cannot appoint as your representative someone who is paid to provide personal or health care services to you.

The person you appoint in a representation agreement performs several duties and one of the most important is helping you in making your own decisions. This ensures that your wishes are always at the forefront regardless of your physical or mental health condition. Often, those looking into either a power of attorney or a representation agreement benefit from working with a lawyer to create a representation agreement that best meets their individual needs.

Source: Nidus, "Representation Agreement - Overview," accessed March 03, 2016

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