Seniors experiencing a loss of autonomy
What is a protection mandate?
A protection mandate allows you to choose how you and your affairs will be taken care of should you become incapacitated. Here’s what you need to know about this measure, previously called a “mandate in case of incapacity”.
A written document to be prepared in advance
A protection mandate is a written document in which you can choose who will take care of you and your property and how this will be done if you become incapacitated.
Although protection mandates aren’t mandatory, they are useful documents that allow you to express your wishes and preferences in advance.
What does “incapacitated” mean? A person is said to be incapacitated when they’re incapable of taking care of themselves or administering their property; for example, they are unable to decide where to live or to oversee their bank accounts. Incapacity must be confirmed by medical and psychosocial assessments. It also has to be verified by a court.
You must be of full age and capable when you draft the mandate
You must be of full age and have full capacity when you draft the mandate. Your ability to confer a protection mandate will be verified by a notary or the witnesses, depending on how you proceed.
You can modify your protection mandate if your mandatary’s or your situation changes, such as if you get a divorce or one of your loved ones dies.
You can appoint one or several “mandataries”
The person who confers the power on another individual to perform acts in his or her name is called the “mandator.” The person who receives this power is called the “mandatary.” We then say that the mandatary has been given a “mandate.”
Generally, a protection mandate has only one mandatary, but it’s also possible to appoint several. This means you can decide whether a single mandatary will take care of you personally and your property or whether various mandataries will share the tasks.
You can also appoint a replacement mandatary in case the mandatary is not able to take on the responsibility.
To ensure the protection of your person and/or the administration of your property
You’re the one who chooses the scope of your protection mandate and the responsibilities to confer on your mandatary.
You can express your wishes in a general way or give very precise instructions for a particular task.
Your wishes in the mandate may concern solely the protection of your person or the administration of your property, or both at once.
For the protection of your person
You can determine, for example:
where you want to live
your wishes concerning medical care (e.g., examinations, samples, treatments, etc. ) and your mandatary’s authority to consent to or refuse treatments on your behalf
your end-of-life wishes, such as the care you want or do not want to receive and organ donation.
For the administration of your property
You can plan, for example:
the management of your income
the payment of your bills
ways to grow your assets
the maintenance and preservation of your property
the sale of your home.
You can also include other elements in your protection mandate. For example, you can:
provide for remuneration of the mandatary
plan to be periodically subject to medical and psychosocial assessments
appoint a tutor for your minor children.
You’ll continue to be involved in decisions
Whenever possible, your mandatary must involve you in decisions made about you and keep you informed.
Decisions affecting you must be made in your interest and ensure your well-being.
Your mandatary must respect your rights, protect your autonomy, and take into account:
your wishes and preferences.
Mandates made before a notary or before two witnesses
You can choose to make your protection mandate before a notary or before two witnesses.
If you choose to make your protection mandate before witnesses, you can draft it yourself or ask another person, such as a lawyer, to do it for you.
How much does it cost?
The costs for preparing a protection mandate vary according to the content, the form, and the professionals consulted.
The cost of a protection mandate made before a notary is approximately $250.
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The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.