Personal Directives

Choosing now for the future

A personal directive is a legal document that lets you give advance written instructions to health care and other service providers in case you cannot make your own personal decisions.

It lets you choose another person, an agent, to act on your behalf and make decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself.

It lets you provide written instructions for decisions regarding your future.

It is not a will or power of attorney.

Who can make a Personal Directive?

Anyone 19 years of age or older.

Why make a Personal Directive?

A Personal Directive allows you to appoint an agent and/or designate rules if you become incapable of making your own decisions.

A Personal Directive could be useful for an illness that leaves you unable to make decisions for a few days, or for a serious illness that leaves you unable to make decisions for the remainder of your life.

What instructions may I include?

Your instructions can be about any or all personal matters that are non-financial, such as:

  • medical treatments you would or would not want
  • where you would like to live
  • who you would like to live with
  • choices about personal activities (recreation, employment or education)
  • any other personal and legal decisions.

What can't I include in my Personal Directive?

  • Any financial decision i.e. property
  • Anything that is illegal
  • Instructions after death

Can I use a Personal Directive from another province?

Yes, if the Personal Directive meets the requirements of the Personal Directives Act.

These are important decisions for you to consider NOW.

Talk to the people you trust - your family, friends and health care providers. Putting loved ones in the position of having to make decisions for you can be difficult. Talking about these issues may not be easy, but discussing your choices now can help.

Decide who you want to make decisions for you if you become incapable in the future. Then put it in writing.