Common Questions

What is a "living will" and is one available in BC?

Living will is a term that originated from the United States and is not a legal document in B.C.

The term ‘living will’ has been used to describe a person’s written wishes for their health care treatments, and particularly treatments they do not want in an end-of-life situation.

There are legal personal planning options available in BC to address health care wishes for “end of life” situations, and to plan for the future.

1) Representation Agreement Section 9 - a way for you to give legal authority on health care and personal care to someone you trust.

2) Advance Directive – new as of September 1, 2011, a legal document in BC which allows you to provide written instructions about what health care you do or do not want in the future, if you become incapable and a health care decision needs to be made.

  • However, an advance directive may not be a comprehensive way to address future health care decisions. A Representation Agreement Section 9 can be more comprehensive.

Good starting points include: 

Need more help?

  • Lawyer Referral Service, from CBA BC, helps you connect with a lawyer for an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for $25 plus taxes.

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed May 2017
advance directive, representation agreement, enduring power of attorney, living will, health care, DNR (do not resuscitate) order, committee, nomination of committee