Legislation allowing for enduring powers of attorney exists in all four Western provinces. The Western Canadian Law Reform Agencies’ report reviews Western legislation, notes differences between provinces, and reviews duties of attorneys and steps to prevent misuse. The Agencies recommend increased harmonization of Western Canadian law to support cross-boundary rules and recognition.
At present, only trust companies are permitted to act as corporate trustees, executors, and administrators in Canada. However, trust companies have increasingly become multi-purpose financial institutions. The trust and fiduciary part of their business has diminished in importance. At the same time, because of our aging population, more people require assistance to manage the wealth they have accumulated over a lifetime, and may require a variety of fiduciary services. In other jurisdictions, including the United States, Britain, and other Commonwealth countries, trust and fiduciary services are more widely available, and more varied in content. This consultation paper examines the law governing corporate trustees and fiduciaries in Saskatchewan, and asks whether the monopoly on trustee services currently possessed by trust companies is still necessary. This project is part of the Commission’s focus on legal issues affecting the elderly.
Gaps in the Powers of Attorney Act have left those who wish others to administer their affairs vulnerable to abuse and without adequate guidance. The Commission suggests addressing a number of issues, including standard forms, a standard test of capacity, criteria of admissibility for attorneys, the effect of death or divorce on power of attorney, and appointment of a corporate attorney under an enduring power.
Advance directives, or living wills, may be used to promote death with dignity by allowing the termination of treatment when death is imminent. The proposed Advance Health Care Directives Act would recognize advance directives that meet minimal formal requirements, and would afford liability protection to physicians following directives in good faith.