New Brunswick Living Will

NB Living Will

I am pleased to announce that the Power of Attorney Wizard can now be used to create a Power of Attorney for Personal Care for individuals in New Brunswick:

So, if you live in New Brunswick, you can now create a Last Will and Testament using our Will-O-Matic Wizard. And you can also create a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care using our Power of Attorney Wizard.

If you’d like to know more about Powers of Attorney for Personal Care in New Brunswick …keep reading… this is the fourth blog on this topic. Click here to read the first blog and here to read the second blog, and here to read the third blog.

Caveat: the following is not legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. If you need legal assistance, seek professional legal help.

What is the basic structure of a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

Introductory Clause

First, the Principal (the party making the Power of Attorney for Personal Care) and the nature of the document (e.g. Power of Attorney for Personal Care) are identified.  The date on which the Power of Attorney is made is typically included here too.

Revoke Previous Powers of Attorney

Here, you can revoke any previous powers of attorney you have made.  If you are making multiple Powers of Attorney for Personal Care (e.g. each one with a specific attorney to handle specific personal care matters), then just be sure to indicate that you are not revoking those ones too!

Infirm Persons Act

This section indicates that the document is a Power of Attorney for Personal Care made in accordance with the Infirm Persons Act.

Appointment an Attorney

Next, you’ll need to identify your Attorney.  Use their full legal name and even adding an identifier (e.g. my son, my spouse, etc.) may help.  You can also consider appointing more than one person as your Attorney.  This may be to share or divide responsibilities and to make sure there are sufficient checks and balances on decision-making; at the same time, it may overly complicate things and cause headache (diverging opinions coupled with joint decision-making authority may cause delays and turmoil!).  With respect to who you should select to by your Attorney, this can be a family member, friend, or financial institution.  The Attorney does not need to live in New Brunswick.

Appointment a Substitute Attorney

For whatever reason, in case the individual you appointed is incapable (e.g. vacation, sickness, death) or unwilling (e.g. through retirement) to act or continue to act as your Attorney at the time they need to, you should appoint a substitute Attorney.  Better be safe than sorry!

Written Declaration

Here, you can specify who will determine that you have become mentally incapable. 

Notification Section

In this section, you can specify who you want to be notified when your Power of Attorney takes effect.


Powers of Attorney for Personal Care may grant the Attorney an unlimited or limited power to act.  If there are limitations, then they should be spelled out.  For example, the Principal may limit the Attorney’s power by allowing them to only deal with certain personal care matters at certain times. The Attorney may be required to consider various listed factors before exercising their discretion.  The Attorney may be required to consult with specific people.  The Attorney may be required to resolve contentious matters in a certain way (e.g. mediation or arbitration).  There may be prohibitions altogether on what the Attorney can do.

Authority of Attorney

This part should outline the powers and restrictions on powers which your Attorney will have over your personal care decisions.  Here, you can specify for example, that the Attorney has the power, in his or her sole and absolute discretion, to make decisions about personal care involve things such as where you live, what you eat, and the kind of medical treatment you receive.  You can limit your Attorney’s powers by listing specific categories of personal care (e.g. health care, shelter, nutrition, clothing, safety or hygiene) in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care.  If you do impose such limits, your Attorney will not be able to act on your behalf concerning these areas and it may be necessary for the Court to appoint a Committee for your Person. 

Medical Treatment

Here, you can specify what you want to have happen as your final medical treatment when you are no longer able to communicate and are suffering from an illness, condition or disease from which you are unlikely to recover.  Some people say that, when this state occurs, they want to be taken off of life support (artificial machines keeping them alive) and allowed to die in a natural and dignified manner and only receive medication to deal with pain.  Other people say that they want to be kept alive using all possible measures and even resuscitated (or attempted to be) after they die.  Sometimes people ask about creating a “living will”. A living will is a document in which people give written instructions about their health care treatment, typically in anticipation of becoming mentally incompetent or unable to communicate because of a terminal illness. Although a living will may help your doctor and your family to know your wishes at end of life, New Brunswick law does not recognize a living will. You may draft such a document, but you should know that it has no legal authority in New Brunswick. To be sure that your wishes are followed, it is preferable to create a power of attorney for personal care and set out any specific end of life wishes in that document.


Here, the Power of Attorney will specify how it will be terminated (which has been discussed in greater detail above).


Here, the Principal will acknowledge various things to help ensure that they have sufficient mental capacity to make the Power of Attorney for Personal Care.


Use blue ink (to show it’s an original signature) instead of black.  Also, please read above concerning who can qualify as a witness.

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