April 16th, 2020 is National Advance Care Planning Day!

COVID-19 is a serious health threat and the situation is evolving daily, if not hourly. Given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the Canadian Government now considers the risk to Canadians as high. This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system and some health care professionals are encouraging Canadians to plan for serious illness now, rather than leaving their family and doctor or healthcare provider with difficult decisions.

On April 16th, National Advance Care Planning Day, between 6pm and 8pm Canadians across the country will be talking with loved ones about their values, wishes and what is important to them.

Advance Care Planning is the process of thinking and talking about your wishes, values, and preferences for your future care in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. You can decide who would speak for you, should you be incapable of making your healthcare decisions yourself, by choosing a Substitute Decision Maker and naming that person legally as your representative using a Representation Agreement.

If you do not choose your Substitute Decision Maker and you are incapable of making decisions yourself, a Temporary Substitute Decision Maker will be chosen for you by your doctor or other health care provider.  To be able to act as a Temporary Substitute Decision Maker, the person must be 19 or older, be capable of giving, refusing or revoking substitute consent, have no dispute with you, have been in contact with you in the past 12 months and be willing to comply with Section 19 of the Health Care (Consent) And Care Facility (Admission) Act

The order of the people who qualify to be on the list is determined by B.C. law and is as follows:

  1. Your spouse 
  2. Your child
  3. Your parent 
  4. Your brother or sister 
  5. Your grandparent
  6. Your grandchild 
  7. Anyone else related to you by birth or adoption
  8. A close friend
  9. A person immediately related to you by marriage (in-laws, stepparents, stepchildren, etc.)

The order of the Temporary Substitute Decision Makers may not be changed.  A person lower down on the list may only be chosen as your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker, by your doctor or health care provider, if all the people above them on the list do not qualify or are not available. If you want someone lower on the list to make your health care decisions, then you should name that person legally as your representative using a Representation Agreement.

For many people estate planning, including planning for incapacity, has become a priority.  We are open and have adapted our practices to ensure continued support for our clients.  If you would like more information please call us at 778-726-0199 and press 4 for our Wills and Estate Team or complete the Milestone Real Estate Lawyer Contact Form.