Act introduced to clarify law on enduring powers of attorney and health care directives20 November 2019
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Enduring Powers of Attorney Act has been introduced in an effort to clarify the law and eliminate overlap within the current legislation.
“Making a power of attorney is an important step that allows people to prepare for the possibility that they will lose mental capacity and become unable to make important decisions,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason. “This new act is comprehensive and provides much needed clarity on all aspects of this process.”
At present, the law in New Brunswick on enduring powers of attorney and health care directives comes from several sources:
- provisions of the Property Act allow for the appointment of a person to act in relation to property and financial affairs;
- provisions of the Infirm Persons Act allow for the appointment of a person to act in relation to personal care;
- the Advance Health Care Directives Act sets out the law on health care directives; and
- common law deals with matters such as the duties of the person who has been appointed.
The new act governs all aspects of enduring powers of attorney and health care directives, including:
- who may be appointed;
- when that person may exercise authority;
- what that person’s duties are; and
- what health care providers must do when a patient has appointed a person to make health care decisions or has made a health care directive.
The new act also includes measures to improve accountability and decrease the likelihood of financial abuse.20-11-19