Mr. Godderis must be commended for encouraging the public to prepare Representation Agreements (Give legal authority to people you trust, Trail Times Feb. 2).
However, I would caution the general public that the preparation of these documents is much more complex that “filling in the blank forms provided by the government,” as Mr. Godderis suggests.
Lawyers and notary publics are specifically trained in the law applicable to representation agreements, health care directives, and Powers of Attorney. In addition lawyers and notary publics are specifically trained to assess an individual’s “mental capacity” with respect to being able to execute such documents.
If these documents are subsequently ruled invalid by a court of law in the future, the current investment in engaging the services of a lawyer or notary public to prepare such documents, would not be seem to be “very expensive,” as application for committeeships etc., could amount to be in the neighbourhood of thousands of dollars.
So my question to Mr. Godderis is it more prudent to invest a few hundred dollars with a lawyer or notary public now, or pay thousands of dollars later?
In addition, I question whether Mr. Godderis is specifically trained in areas of the law to be providing legal advice to the public in the preparation of such documents.
Once again I would encourage the public to engage a lawyer or notary public to assist them in the preparation of such documents.