What is a Personal Directive?
A Personal Directive allows you to determine in advance who will make personal and non-financial decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the mental capacity to make these decisions. Writing a Personal Directive can be an important consideration for your Estate Planning, as the law in Alberta does not allow another person to automatically make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Creating a Personal Directive will allow you to specify the person or persons of your choice who are legally entitled to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become mentally incompetent.
The person you name to make your personal decisions is called an “Agent”. Prior to naming an agent, you should consult with and obtain the consent of the individual you are considering and inform them of your wish to name them as your Agent. You should also discuss your own wishes, beliefs, and values so that they can represent you fully when you can no longer express yourself coherently.
Please note that the Agent named in your Personal Directive is under no obligation to accept the responsibilities of an Agent. For this reason, it is also a good idea to name an alternate Agent in case the person you choose is unable or at some point becomes unwilling to act as your Agent.