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Common Questions

Should I have an enduring power of attorney or a representation agreement?

Last reviewed in July 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors.

A power of attorney is a document that appoints another person, called an "attorney," to make financial and legal decisions for you. An enduring power of attorney (EPA) allows your attorney to make financial and legal decisions for you if you become mentally incapable because of accident or illness. But your attorney can't make health care decisions for you. To deal with health care decisions, you can make what is called a representation agreement (RA).

Good starting points include:

  • Nidus features an "Information" section with several resources that explain the difference between an EPA and the different types of RAs.
  • A Planning Primer, from People's Law School, takes you through the basics of personal planning and covers the key legal documents including an EPA and RAs.
  • Power of Attorney is a free booklet from People’s Law School that is available in both English and French. This booklet introduces the types of powers of attorney, who can be an attorney, the powers and responsibilities of an attorney, and how to end a power of attorney.
  • Financial & Legal Matters, from People's Law School, has guides such as The Right Power of Attorney for You and Preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney. The Right Power of Attorney can help you learn about the different types of powers of attorney and how they can be used. Preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney highlights a number of key topics including why you might need an enduring power of attorney, the powers and responsibilities of an attorney, and when an enduring power of attorney ends.
  • Health & Personal Care, from People's Law School, has a guide called The Right Representation Agreement for You which explains the difference between standard representation agreements and enhanced representation agreements.
  • Representation Agreements, is a webinar from People’s Law School, that unpacks what a representation agreement is and what it involves. 

Need more help?

  • Personal Help, from Nidus, provides free information, assistance, and practical tips on personal planning by phone or email to seniors and people in long-term care.
  • Seniors' Legal Clinics, from Seniors First BC, offers free legal consultations for seniors age 55+ (with low-income or other barriers).
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

power of attorney, enduring power of attorney, representation agreement, planning for your future, living will, EPA, RA