At Willful our goal is to ensure our users have the most up-to-date legal information about wills and estates in their province, and we have an important update to share about legislative changes in New Brunswick. On July 1st, 2020, the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act comes into effect in New Brunswick. This new Act changes the requirements for creating Power of Attorney documents in New Brunswick. Here we’ll explain what changes this Act brings and how it may affect your Willful documents.

What Are The Changes?

New Titles

  • The personal care POA has changed titles from Advance Health Care Directive to Power of Attorney for Personal Care.
  • You can choose to create an Advance Health Care Directive to accompany your Power of Attorney for Personal Care - instead of acting as a document that appoints someone to make medical decisions for you, it will now simply be a list of additional instructions that accompanies your POA for Personal Care
  • The name for the person acting as your Power of Attorney has changed from proxy to attorney.

New Roles

  • Previously, only a doctor could determine and assess your capacity - now you can appoint a person(s) to determine and assess your capacity (for example, a family member or friend).
  • You can now appoint a monitor to check in on your attorney to ensure they’re doing their job.

New Requirements

  • The new act provides additional guidance on who cannot be your attorney. This includes:
  • People who provide you with healthcare services
  • Someone who has been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty
  • A person who has had an undischarged bankruptcy
  • Most importantly, signing requirements have changed. You now must have a lawyer sign your Enduring Power of Attorney for Property document and provide a written statement that they witnessed you sign it. Your Power of Attorney for Personal Care does not need to signed/witnessed by a lawyer

What Makes POAs Legally-Valid Under The New Act:

Under the new legislation, a Power of Attorney for Property is valid if:

  • The grantor has capacity
  • It’s in writing and is signed and dated by the grantor
  • It’s signed and dated in the presence of a lawyer and includes a written statement from a lawyer

Under the new legislation, a Power of Attorney for Personal Care is valid if:

  • The grantor has capacity
  • It’s in writing and is signed and dated by the grantor and witnessed by 2 people OR signed by a lawyer
  • Created by an adult 19 of age or older
  • Any Power of Attorney document signed and witnessed before July 1st, 2020, will be grandfathered in, and will remain legally-valid.

What Exactly Does This Mean For Willful Customers In New Brunswick?

New Customers

If you’re a new customer in New Brunswick, you may be wondering why you can only select an Essentials plan. Due to the new regulations, Willful is no longer able to offer the ability to create Power of Attorney documents in New Brunswick. For this reason, customers in New Brunswick will be unable to select the Premium or Couples plan when signing up for Willful.

Existing Customers

If you’re an existing Willful customer in New Brunswick, you may notice that your dashboard looks a little different. We’ve automatically converted any Premium or Couples (Mirrored) plan holders to an Essentials plan. If you’ve already signed and witnessed your Power of Attorney documents, they remain legally-valid. While you can continue making changes to your will at any time, you no longer have the ability to access or update your Power of Attorney documents.

We have reached out to all paid customers with more information so please check your inbox for the email from our team as it contains important information about your account.

We continue to work with our legal advisor in New Brunswick to stay up-to-date as provincial regulations change. We are hopeful to be able to offer Power of Attorney documents again in the future. If you have any questions about the new legislation or your Willful account, book a call, email or live chat and we’ll be happy to help.