Being an Attorney Under an Enduring Power of Attorney – What Do the Words Mean?

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, through a formal agreement, or if two people have lived together in a relationship of interdependence for at least three years or where there is a child of the interdependent relationship by birth or adoption.


A person appointed to act on behalf of another person under a Personal Directive.

Alternate Attorney

Someone who is named in an EPA to act if someone else named can’t act.


What a person owns. Fixed assets are tangible things such as houses, vehicles, furniture or jewellery. Liquid Assets are either cash or things that can easily be converted to cash such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates, RRSPs, pension plans, mutual funds, stocks and bonds.


A person who is empowered to act on behalf of the Donor under a Power of Attorney.


A person or organization that you leave something to in your Will.

Canada Pension Plan

A form of retirement income that is available to all Canadians who have worked and paid into the system through deductions from their pay cheques.

Certified Copy

A copy of a document that a Commissioner of Oaths has certified as an exact copy of another document.


An Attorney who has powers at the same time as another Attorney. The powers may be over the same parts of the estate or over different parts of the estate. Also called a joint attorney.


References to the court mean the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.


What a person owes. These can also be called “liabilities” and may include credit card balances, loans, and mortgages.

Declaration of Incapacity

A written document that confirms that a specified contingency stated in the Enduring Power of Attorney, including but not limited to the Donor’s mental incapacity or infirmity has occurred, bringing the Enduring Power of Attorney into effect.


A person who gives a Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Enduring Power of Attorney

A document that allows the person you name to act for you with regard to your financial affairs. It can either:

  • take effect immediately upon signing and continue if you become mentally incapable of managing your financial affairs; or
  • take effect only upon a specific future date or upon the occurrence of a specified event, which may include but is not limited to mental incapacity or infirmity.

Joint Tenancy

A type of ownership where any two or more persons (related or not) may equally own property and the property passes to the survivor or survivors on the death of one (without flowing through the estate of the deceased).


All of the legal obligations a person has, including debts.

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.

Notary (or Notary Public)

In Alberta, a person given the powers set out for Notaries in the Notaries and Commissioners Act, which includes the power to certify that a document is an exact copy of another document.

Notarized Copy

A copy of a document that a notary has certified as an exact copy of another document.

Old Age Security

A monthly payment available to Canadians aged 65 and older who apply and meet certain requirements. Unlike CPP, it is not dependent on a person’s employment history and a person does not need to be retired in order to qualify.

Personal Directive

A document created under the provisions of the Alberta Personal Directives Act, the purpose of which is to allow another person, called an Agent, to make personal decisions (including healthcare decisions) on behalf of the person signing the Personal Directive (who is called the Maker).

Personal Representative

The person named in a Will who is responsible for managing the estate and for carrying out the instructions in the Will. (Previously known as an Executor/Executrix)

Tenancy in Common

A type of ownership where any two or more persons (related or not) may own property, but, unlike joint tenancy, the shares need not be equal, and there is no right of survivorship (on the death of an owner, the share does not flow to the other tenant in common, but rather, flows through the estate of the deceased tenant).


A trust is a way of holding property. One person (or company), called the trustee, holds and uses property for the benefit of another person, called the beneficiary.


A person or company named to manage a trust. Trustees have strict legal duties they must follow called fiduciary duties.

Will (or last Will and Testament)

A properly signed, dated and witnessed legal statement of a person’s last wishes as to the disposition of his or her property after death.

You should NOT rely on this webpage for legal advice. It provides general information on Alberta law only. December 2016.
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