Nova Scotia Personal Directive
I am pleased to announce that the Power of Attorney Wizard can now be used to create a Personal Directive for individuals in Nova Scotia:
Now you can create your own Last Will and Testament using the Will-O-Matic Wizard, and your own Power of Attorney for Property / Finances and a Personal Directive using the Power of Attorney Wizard as well!
If you’d like to know more about Personal Directives in Nova Scotia…keep reading…
Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice, you should seek professional assistance.
What is a Personal Directive?
In Nova Scotia, a “Personal Directive” is a legal document that allows a person (called a “Maker”) to designate another person (called a “Delegate“) to make decisions concerning the Maker’s personal care if they become mentally incapacitated and unable to make those types of decisions themselves. Personal care includes: health care, nutrition, hydration, shelter, residence, clothing, hygiene, safety, comfort, recreation, social activities, and support services. A Personal Directive also allows a person to set out instructions or an expression of their values, beliefs and wishes about future personal care decisions to be made on his or her behalf.
Personal Directives are governed by the Personal Directives Act, S.N.S. 2007, c. 8. A Personal Directive DOES NOT authorize a Delegate to make decisions on another person’s behalf with respect to their property or financial affairs; rather, that is done through a “Power of Attorney” or “Enduring Power of Attorney” (if the Power of Attorney is to continue in effect after the person making it becomes mentally incapacitated).
Why do you need a Personal Directive?
If you become mentally incapacitated and DO NOT have a Personal Directive, then your family members WILL NOT automatically get to make decisions concerning your personal care on your behalf (a common misconception). Rather, someone who is 19 years or older, mentally competent and typically a friend or relative will need to apply to court under the Incompetent Persons Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 218 to be the “Guardian of Your Person”. A Guardian will have legal care and custody of you. By having a Personal Directive, you can choose who you want to be your Delegate for personal care matters if you become mentally incapacitated. This can avoid costly, time-consuming, and potentially emotionally draining court-battles between family and friends.