The Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre serves as a provincial, not-for-profit, charitable society which was incorporated in 1995.
Its purpose is to help you to learn about the law so that you can make a legal plan which will fit your situation in case you should need assistance in future, owing to illness, injury or disability. Nidus also works together with a friend or family member who needs help now in order to manage their affairs.
Arranging for a family member or friend to represent you when you cannot speak for yourself, ensures that your wishes will be honoured. It also helps to avoid delay, confusion and loss of rights. If there is no plan, keep in mind that the court may have to appoint a guardian (called a Committee) or the Public Trustee (governmental official) which may instead, take over your affairs.
Every B.C. adult is entitled to make arrangements to give someone the legal authority to assist them. Those who cannot manage their own affairs now as well as those who may be labeled “incapable” under other laws or procedures, may make an “Agreement”.
The Nidus Registry is a centralized registry service, intended for your legal documents which will help to ensure that your plan is available when needed. Those whom you authorize can access the Registry in order to find out how to contact your representative or attorney and to see that your wishes are respected.
A Representation Agreement is the only way to appoint someone (your choice of representative) who may act on your behalf regarding health and personal care matters, if you are incapable of doing so yourself. Note that an Agreement may also cover concerns which include routine financial and legal matters.
In British Columbia, if one is incapable, take note that your physician must obtain consent from a person who has the authority to act on your behalf According to the law, your representative (and this includes your physician) is legally required to follow any written or verbal wishes you have expressed, at the time when you are considered capable.
Next weeks’ column will include further information and referral services which Nidus offers members of the public, however it does not give legal advice. Rather, Nidus provides information and facilitation.
To contact Nidus, either visit its website at www.nidus.ca or call 604-408-7414 for further details.