Are updates to the Substitute Decisions Act being proposed too?

April 13, 2021 Nick Esterbauer Capacity, Elder Law Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Recent discussion of proposed amendments to the Succession Law Reform Act under Bill 245 has raised questions of whether corresponding changes will be made to the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992.  In particular, some estate lawyers are wondering whether a new validation section may be added to the Substitute Decisions Act to address the issue of court validation of powers of attorney (like the new section 21.1 of the Succession Law Reform Act has been proposed to allow courts to validate improperly-executed wills) and/or whether remote execution options may soon be made permanent for powers of attorney as well as wills.

Validation Provisions

The Substitute Decisions Act already contains curative provisions that allow the court to validate incapacity planning documents in circumstances where the documents are not executed in strict compliance with formal requirements.

Subsection 10(4) of the Substitute Decisions Act reads as follows with respect to the validation of Continuing Powers of Attorney for Property:

Non-compliance

(4) A continuing power of attorney that does not comply with subsections (1) and (2) is not effective, but the court may, on any person’s application, declare the continuing power of attorney to be effective if the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of the grantor or his or her dependants to do so.

Subsection 48(4) of the Substitute Decisions Act reads as follows with respect to the validation of Powers of Attorney for Personal Care:

Non-compliance

(4) A power of attorney for personal care that does not comply with subsections (1) and (2) is not effective, but the court may, on any person’s application, declare the power of attorney for personal care to be effective if the court is satisfied that it is in the grantor’s interests to do so.

Remote Execution of Documents in Counterpart

While the focus of discussions among estate lawyers regarding Bill 245 may be the proposed updates to the Succession Law Reform Act and, in terms of formal will execution, the amendment of section 4 as it relates to the requirements for the witnessing of wills, Bill 245 also includes proposed changes to the Substitute Decisions Act under Schedule 8.

A new section 3.1 of the Substitute Decisions Act is being proposed to add specific references to the use of audio-visual communication technology and counterpart signing options in the execution and witnessing of Continuing Powers of Attorney for Property and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care.  Accordingly, if Bill 245 is passed, the remote and counterpart execution options made available during the pandemic will be made permanent for wills and powers of attorney alike.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
 

CONNECT WITH US

TRY HULL E-STATE PLANNER SOFTWARE

Hull e-State Planner is a comprehensive estate planning software designed to make the estate planning process simple, efficient and client friendly.

Try it here!

CATEGORIES

ARCHIVES

TWITTER WIDGET