BC Notaries Respond to Urgent COVID-19 Measures and Increased Public Interest in Personal Planning
Vancouver, BC—Notaries Public across the province are open for business and responding to a stronger interest from British Columbians who want to ensure they and their families are prepared for potential illness, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ongoing coronavirus case reports and measures have people taking stock of how prepared they would be if they contracted a serious illness, such as this potentially serious virus. Notaries across British Columbia are fielding more inquiries from people wanting to ensure they and their families have the necessary legal documents in place in the event they become too ill to make their own decisions.
“Clients are reaching out because they have delayed personal planning for various reasons and now see it as more of a priority,” said Daniel Boisvert, a Notary in Delta and President of BC Notaries Association. “Documenting healthcare wishes ensures your wishes will be followed and helps minimize stress and conflict among friends and family when a critical decision needs to be made immediately”.
Notaries provide a provincially designated essential service and have adapted their offices and services to help keep their clients, community, staff and themselves safe. These include physical distancing provisions, increased cleaning and sanitation, phone or video consultations and a requirement to scheduled meetings in advance to ensure these measures can be followed, among others.
While ensuring your preferences are known and respected, advance care planning has benefits for healthcare providers as well, who are currently at a higher risk of being overworked and under-staffed. Clear instructions allow more seamless and efficient healthcare decisions.
“Advance care plans clarify and convey critical healthcare decisions and who we want to make those decisions,” said Kristy Martin, a Notary in Langford on Vancouver Island. “Most importantly, friends and family can be confident in the medical procedures they do or do not choose for their loved one.”
Some of the legal documents that can help provide certainty and peace of mind include powers of attorney, representation agreements, advance healthcare directives and wills: all of which play a role in ensuring a client’s instructions are know and clear to those acting on their behalf including healthcare professionals and family members.
Your local Notary can help you decide what should be in your Advance Care Plan and then put everything together in writing to ensure you have fully considered and clarified your decisions.
About BC Notaries:
BC Notaries are a select group of legal professionals commissioned by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. For nearly 100 years these highly trained legal advisors have provided non-contentious services, including land law, real estate transactions and all the important personal planning tools available to the people of our province: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements and Advance Directives. Throughout history, Notaries have been recognized as individuals of impeccable integrity practicing in a Tradition of Trust. A Notary's word, signature, and red Notary Seal are time-honoured testaments to the character and skill of these caring professionals.
The BC Notaries Association promotes and supports British Columbia Notaries Public in all communities of the Province and advances the standing of its members and awareness of their services to the public.
For more information, or to find a notary by location, name or language please visit bcnotaryassociation.ca.
Editors: Local Notaries are available in many areas of B.C. to discuss advance planning.