The Difference between a Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney

October 28, 2015 | Published by

Power of attorney and representation agreements are types of legal documents that help individuals plan for the possibility that they will be incapable of making important decisions on their own, sometime in the future.

Power of Attorney

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document that appoints another person, the “attorney”, to make financial and legal decisions for you, as well as make decisions with regards to your property.

The power that you grant your attorney can be specific or quite broad. You could limit the authority you grant your attorney to something as simple as cashing your cheques, or extend their authority to be able to deal with all of your assets.

Power of Attorney and Real Estate

If you grant your attorney the power to deal with real estate, this power is only valid for 3 years, as stipulated by Land Title Act. However, you can specify in your power of attorney document that the 3-year rule does not apply. You are also required to file the power of attorney in the Land Title registry, as per the Land Title Act. 

How can I end a power of attorney?

To end a power of attorney is quite simple. The easiest way is to provide your attorney with written notice that their power has ended, and it is wise to destroy the original and copies of the document itself.

If you have filed the power of attorney in the Land Title registry, you must file a document called a “Notice of Revocation” in the Land Title Office where the land is registered. You can also stipulate an end date on the power of attorney document when it is first drafted.

A power of attorney will automatically end when you die or become bankrupt. It will also end if you become mentally incompetent, unless you explicitly state on the power of attorney document that the power will continue in the event of mental infirmity. This is called an “enduring power of attorney”.

What is an enduring power of attorney?

An enduring power of attorney will remain valid if you become mentally incapable due to age, accident or illness, allowing your attorney to continue making financial and legal decisions for you.

If you have any further questions about powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney, call Vancouver Downtown Notary at 778-819-8553 or email us at [email protected]


Representation Agreements


What is a representation agreement?

A representation agreement allows you to appoint another person as your legal representative to deal with your financial, legal and personal care decisions if you are unable to make these decisions on your own. This must be an unpaid appointment, so you could not appoint a person that you employ to provide you with personal or health care, or who is employed through a facility from which you receive personal or health care. The only exception to this is if that person is your child, parent, or spouse.

What are my representative’s duties?

It is important that you and your representative sit down and discuss your wishes and their duties. Some of your representative’s duties are:

  1. To take into account your current wishes, and if you are unable to express your wishes at that time, to take into account the wishes and instructions that you provided when you were capable of expressing them;
  1. To act honestly and in good faith;
  1. To keep your assets separate from the representative’s assets;
  1. To act within the authority granted by the representation agreement; and
  1. To keep proper records including creating and maintaining a list of your property and liabilities.

What are the different types of representation agreements?

The Representative Agreement Act outlines two different types of representation agreements:

  1. Section 7 “limited agreements”, that cover straightforward, everyday decisions; and
  1. Section 9 “general agreements”, that deal with more complex personal and health care matters.

If you have any further questions about representation agreements, call Vancouver Downtown Notary at 778-819-8553 or email us at [email protected]