Article September 3, 2021

The protection mandate: make the right move

Who will look after you and manage your affairs if you’re unable to do so yourself? Don’t let others make this critical decision for you!

Usually, we don’t like to spend too much time thinking about illness, accidents or cognitive decline. But by planning now for the event that you become incapacitated in the future, you’ll earn greater peace of mind. The protection mandate, formerly called the “mandate in case of incapacity”, is the best tool to do just that.

The protection mandate is a document that lets you specify who should look after you and your property. Having a protection mandate prevents other judicial protection measures, which are standardized and don’t take your specific wishes into account, from being applied if you become incapacitated.

An ally on your side

The protection mandate minimizes the involvement of the Curateur public and enables you to make a number of important decisions about the sale and administration of your property, where you will live, how your well-being will be ensured and more. The instructions provided in the document will guide your mandatary's actions.

You can also name multiple mandataries: for example, one person can take care of your well-being while someone else manages your assets. You should also name one or more replacements in case the chosen mandataries decide to step down from this role.

Even if you trust your financial advisor and you want to name them a mandatary, be aware that advisors are not permitted to exercise both roles simultaneously. However, your advisor can still help you plan wisely. For example, they can alert you to situations that might generate a conflict of interest, like if the potential mandatary is a beneficiary on your insurance policy. Your advisor is an important ally who can help you make better-informed decisions.

How to prepare your mandate?

The protection mandate must be drawn up before a notary or signed in the presence of two witnesses. For the latter option, a lawyer may draw up the mandate. You can also prepare the mandate yourself using the model provided by the Curateur public du Québec.

Don’t forget to regularly update your mandate, especially in the event of major life changes. In addition, inform your mandataries that you’ve chosen them and let them know where they’ll be able to find the document.

If you become incapacitated, a court will activate the provisions in your protection mandate through a procedure called homologation. This process usually takes several months.

“You can prepare your protection mandate yourself.”

To learn more about the protection mandate, download the brochure from the Curateur public’s website, visit the Éducaloi website, or talk to a notary or lawyer.

Excerpt from FADOQ's magazine - Virage (September 2021)