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Monday March 2, 2020

The Appointment of Substitute Decision Makers

Authored by: Luke C. Godin Posted in: Wills & Estates

Creating an enduring power of attorney and the Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act

Over 51% of Canadians do not have a will. This is concerning. Equally troubling is that an even higher percentage of Canadians have not properly planned for the possibility that they may one day lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves. The reality is that if a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves, and they have not appointed an alternate decision maker, the people who know them the best will be unable to assist them in making decisions related to their health care, personal affairs, financial or legal needs. For this reason, creating an enduring power of attorney (a document that typically appoints a substituted decision maker in the event of incapacity) is an important consideration in any estate plan.

If an enduring power of attorney is not completed while a person has capacity, or if a child is never able to appoint a substitute decision maker due to their age, a Court application is required. In Nova Scotia, such applications are made under the Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act. These Court applications can be both complicated and time consuming. Our experienced team of lawyers can guide you through this process. We offer flat rate legal fees for applications under the Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act.  

If you are interested in meeting with a lawyer to complete or update your estate plan, or if you need to make a Court application to be appointed as a decision maker for another person, please contact Luke C. Godin or any member of our Estates Team.

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