Advance Care Planning
Legally reviewed. Last update made in June 2023.
What does Advance Care Planning mean?
Advance Care Planning is a commonly used term in the health care context. Advance Care Planning is focused on health care, while personal planning is focused on all life areas: health, personal, legal and financial.
Is an “Advance Care Plan” a legal document in BC?
No, there is no legal document in BC called an “Advance Care Plan”.
You may hear the term “Advance Care Plan” in the health care field to refer to writing down someone’s wishes or instructions that can help guide a representative if you are no longer able to communicate for yourself. However, this is not a term that is defined in the law.
Sometimes you may hear a Representation Agreement, Advance Directive, or Enduring Power of Attorney as being part of an Advance Care Plan – but these are standalone legal documents. Please also note that an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) does not authorize anyone to make health care decisions.
How do I make plans that are legally enforceable?
Advance Care Planning promotes writing down one’s wishes, not necessarily making legal documents. As we saw with the Margot Bentley case, focusing only on wishes can lead to court cases and interpretation by a judge.
Personal planning promotes making legally-enforceable documents to appoint someone who will have the legal authority to carry out those wishes. We hear again and again that this is what the public wants, as it avoids guesswork, confusion and conflict.
Don’t have a plan in place? Get started today!
Advance Care Planning FAQs
Section 7 Representation Agreement
Section 9 Representation Agreement
Enduring Power of Attorney
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