What if I Want to Choose Someone to be my SDM?
Everyone in Ontario has an automatic substitute decision maker. However, if you are not satisfied with your automatic SDM then you can choose and name a person(s) to act as your SDM by preparing a document called a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC). The POAPC is one type of SDM and is ranked second in the automatic hierarchy.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a document, in writing, in which you name someone to be your attorney. The word “attorney” does not mean lawyer: in this case, an attorney is a type of substitute decision maker.
To be valid, the document must:
- be signed by you voluntarily, of your own free will
- be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses
- be signed by two witnesses in front of you.
You must also be mentally capable of understanding and appreciating the kind of document you are signing and what you are doing by signing such a document.
More information about Ontario Powers of Attorney for Personal Care can be found at:
- Ontario Ministry for the Attorney General https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/poa.pdf
- Advocacy Centre for the Elderly www.acelaw.ca
- Community Legal Education Ontario www.cleo.on.ca