Being an Agent – What Do the Words Mean? (Glossary)

What Do The Words Mean? Glossary

adult interdependent partner a person with whom you are in an adult interdependent relationship.
adult interdependent relationship a term unique to Alberta and governed by the Alberta Adult Interdependent Relationships Act.

A “relationship of interdependence” is a relationship outside of marriage where two people:

  • share one another’s lives;
  • are emotionally committed to one another; and
  • function as an economic and domestic unit.

To meet these criteria, the relationship need not necessarily be conjugal (sexual). It can be platonic.

There are two possible ways for such a relationship to exist:

  • If you have made a formal and valid adult interdependent partner agreement with the other person (two people that are related by either blood or adoption must enter into such an agreement in order to be considered adult interdependent partners); or
  • If you are not related by either blood or adoption and if you have:
    • lived with the other person in a “relationship of interdependence” for at least three continuous years, or
    • lived with the other person in a “relationship of interdependence” of some permanence where there is a child of the relationship (either by birth or adoption).
Agent a person designated in a Personal Directive to make personal decisions on behalf of the maker.
Declaration of Incapacity a written document that confirms that a maker of a Personal Directive and/or the donor of a Power of Attorney no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions on his or her own behalf.
donor a person who gives a Power of Attorney
guardian a person who has been appointed, under the Alberta Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, to make non-financial decisions for an adult who no longer has the mental capacity to make those decisions on his or her own behalf.
guardianship application a court application, brought under the Alberta Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, that asks the court to appoint a particular person as the guardian of an adult who no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions on his or her own behalf.
guardianship order a court order, granted under the Alberta Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, that appoints a person to make non-financial decisions for an adult who no longer has the mental capacity to make those decisions on his or her own behalf.
health care any examination, procedure, service, or treatment that is done for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, or other health related purpose.
living will an expression sometimes used to refer to a document in which you write down what you want to happen if you become ill and can’t communicate your wishes about treatment. In Alberta, the correct legal term is “Personal Directive.”
maker a person who makes a Personal Directive.
mental capacity the ability to understand information that is relevant to the making of a decision and the ability to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of the decision.
nearest relative with respect to any person, the relative of that person first listed in the following order:

  1. spouse or adult interdependent partner;
  2. son or daughter;
  3. father or mother;
  4. brother or sister;
  5. grandfather or grandmother;
  6. grandson or granddaughter;
  7. uncle or aunt;
  8. nephew or niece.

Note 1: Whole blood relatives are preferred to half blood relatives of the same description. For example, if a person has no spouse, children, or parents living and has a sister and a stepsister, the full sister is the nearest relative.

Note 2: The elder of those described in the list above is preferred to the younger. For example, if a person has no spouse or partner, but an older daughter and a younger son, the daughter is the nearest relative.

Note 3: Gender is irrelevant.

personal decision a decision that relates to a personal matter and includes, without limitation, the giving of consent, the refusal to give consent, or the withdrawal of consent to health care.
personal matter anything non-financial as it relates to an individual, and without limitation including:

  1. health care;
  2. accommodation;
  3. with whom the person may live and associate;
  4. participation in social, educational, and employment activities;
  5. non-financial legal matters; and
  6. any other matters prescribed by the regulations of the Personal Directives Act.
personal service a service provided with respect to a personal matter.
psychosurgery any procedure that, by direct or indirect access to the brain, removes, destroys, or interrupts the continuity of normal brain tissue or that inserts indwelling electrodes for pulsed electrical stimulation for the purpose of altering behaviour or treating psychiatric illness, but does not include neurological procedures used to diagnose or treat intractable physical pain or epilepsy where those conditions are clearly demonstrable.
represented adult a person who is the subject of a guardianship order or trusteeship order, or both, made under the Alberta Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.
service provider a person who carries on a business or profession that provides (or who is employed to provide) a personal service to an individual and, when providing the service, requires a personal decision from that individual. A nursing home is an example of a service provider.
spouse a person to whom one is legally married.
You should NOT rely on this webpage for legal advice. It provides general information on Alberta law only. June 2013.
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