The Adult Guardianship and Planning Statutes Amendment Act, 2007 (the “Act”) came into force on September 1, 2011 and revises the Power of Attorney Act (“POAA”), Representation Agreement Act and Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act (“HCC”).

The amendments to the POAA provide greater legislative certainty in both creating and exercising enduring powers of attorney.  Although existing enduring powers of attorney may be grand-parented under the Act, it would be prudent to review your power of attorney with a lawyer to determine if it needs to be modified to reflect your wishes in light of the new legislation.

Some notable amendments to the POAA are as follows:

  • An attorney may not be compensated unless there is an express authorization within the document;
  • An individual who is paid to provide personal or health care services is barred from being appointed as an attorney;
  • The attorney must now sign the document before they can act; and
  • There is an express requirement that the attorney keep and produce financial records.

Another significant change is that as of September 1, advance directives are recognized as legal documents which allow an adult to provide advanced consent to or refusal of treatment directly to a health care provider.  In other words, if an incapable adult does not have a Committee appointed or a Representative pursuant to a Representation Agreement, the health care provider can directly on instructions contained in the advanced directive.