Sometimes, in life, certain hazards are forced upon us, such as becoming incapacitated. It is, however, possible to plan for such outcomes.

The importance of planning ahead

Preparing a protection mandate means making sure that the right person is looking after our well-being and managing our assets.

As Quebec’s population grows older, it is crucial to support vulnerable individuals, as well as the elderly and their caregivers. Learning about the importance of filling out a protection mandate is a part of this process.

Adults of 35 and older should also pay attention, even if they are young and healthy. Their lives are full of major changes, such as the purchase of a house and the birth of a child, living proof that time is both precious and fleeting.

According to the Curateur public du Québec (Public Curator of Quebec), nine people out of ten believe themselves ready to start procedures to act on behalf of a loved one in case of incapacity. The same number want a loved one to take care of them if the roles are reversed.  

And yet, less than half of Quebec’s population has filled out a protection mandate.  

You should also read our article to find out more about life insurance.

What is a protection mandate?

A protection mandate, also known as a power of attorney, is a legal document naming the person who will look after our protection and manage our assets in the event an illness or an accident robs us of our faculties.

The protection mandate is therefore a necessary planning measure to align dignity and vulnerability.

The Curateur public offers a free brochure and protection mandate template on its website. They’ve recently been updated to make them more accessible and easily understood.

To plan ahead even further, read our article on preparing an emergency fund.

The protection mandate: aligning dignity and vulnerability | Multi-Prêts Mortgages

Who is the Curateur public du Québec?

The Curateur public (Public curator) is a government organization whose mandate is to oversee the protection of incapacitated people.  

It supports families and loved ones that represent someone or are involved in a tutorship council, as well as oversee its administration.  

It also acts as a curator or tutor in a personalised fashion for the people it represents, if they have no loved ones who can represent them or if it’s not in their best interest.

Lastly, its duty is to ensure that the decisions are in the represented person’s best interests, while respecting their rights and maintaining their autonomy. 

What happens to an incapacitated person’s assets?

One a protection mandate is in place, the representative takes over the management of the incapacitated person’s assets. If this person is not in a residence for elderly or incapacitated people, the representative is responsible for the home in which the incapacitated person lives.

The representative may wish to sell, buy or mortgage a home on behalf of the incapacitated person. In order to do so, they must refer to the clauses found in the protection mandate, as it will undoubtedly hold dispositions regarding the management of the principal’s property assets.

As a general rule, the representative must act with the following lawful principles in mind: protect the incapacitated person’s interests, ensure their rights are respected, obey their wishes (as much as possible), and maintain their autonomy and private life.

Finally, you must be careful not to confuse the protection granted by a declaration of family residence with that of a protection mandate.

Key takeaways

  • Adults aged 35 and older are just as concerned by these measures as the elderly.
  • Less than half of Quebec’s population has filled out a protection mandate.
  • The Curateur public offers a free brochure and protection mandate template on its website.