Power of Attorney Resources

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person (the attorney) the power to make financial and legal decisions for you. A power of attorney can be quite flexible, allowing the person creating the document to specify exactly what they want their attorney to be able to do. A power of attorney does not include the power to make health care or personal care decisions, such as where to live, what to eat, etc.  

There are two common types of power of attorney. A general power of attorney is used when someone is mentally capable of making decisions but is unable to do so. With this type of agreement, the power of attorney ends if you become mentally incapable. An enduring power of attorney gives the same powers as the general agreement but continues after someone becomes mentally incapable.  

There are other types of power of attorney within these two categories; check out People’s Law School’s page The right power of attorney for you to learn more.  

Under the Power of Attorney Act, someone can be appointed as an attorney only if they are 19 or older and mentally capable and willing to act as attorney. The person making the power of attorney must also be 19 or older. The Act also states the attorney’s duties; People’s Law School’s page on Your key duties as attorney provides more information on what these duties are and how to fulfil them.  

Preparing a power of attorney 

Here are some resources that can help your patrons draft their own power of attorney.  

  • Prepare an enduring power of attorney – this resource walks through each step of creating this document. It also links to the template form provided by the BC Government, which you can find here. Note this form does not need to be used for an enduring power of attorney to be valid.  

  • The schedule of the Power of Attorney Act provides the template text for a general power of attorney, both for the appointment of a single attorney and for multiple attorneys. To complete the document, the text would need to be copied and pasted into a Word doc and then edited.  

  • Wills and Personal Planning Precedents: An Annotated Guide, produced by Continuing Legal Education BC (CLEBC), provides information about creating a power of attorney. It also features a precedent (a blank template form) for an enduring power of attorney. This title can be found in CLBC branches around the province, both in print and on our computes in the CLE Online database. When using the database, patrons also have the option to use the Document Builder to select sample clauses and create their own personalised enduring power of attorney. If you don’t have this book in your collection, please refer your patrons to us! 

A power of attorney is only one kind of personal planning document and can be used in conjunction with others like representation agreements. Please see our other post on Representation Agreement Resources to learn more about these types of documents. You can also check out our Wills & Personal Planning Resources guide for more information.