Advance Care Planning Legal Terms by Province & Territory
Advance care planning is an integral part of life and legacy planning. It outlines the decisions you would like to be made for you, in the event you cannot make them yourself. Each province and territory in Canada uses different terms to describe documents and people who would speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself. It is important to know the terms used in your province/territory, and/or the province/territory you are acting as someone’s designated decision maker. While the terminology is different, the principles remain the same.
An advance care planning document provides instruction on how you would like to be cared for in the event you cannot care for yourself. This includes:
Medical and lifestyle preferences
Comfort care versus curative care
Medical treatment that you do or do not wish to receive
Scenarios where you wouldn’t want specific medical treatments
How long you would like life support and life-prolonging medical interventions
Where you would like to live when you can no longer care for yourself
Guidance for resuscitation decisions
Your designated decision maker will use your advance care plan to make decisions about your health and care when you are unable to do so. Having this guidance can lighten the burden placed on loved ones to make important decisions during an already stressful and emotional time.
In the EstateBox platform we use the term “advance care plan” in order to stay neutral between the provincial terminology. Here’s a list of some of the common terms used in each province and territory.
Province or Territory
Advanced Care Planning Document
Advance Care Planning
Designated Substitute Decision Maker
Prince Edward Island
* Note that the substitute decision maker is included in the Advance Care Planning document.
+ In Nunavut, there is no legislation for Advance Directives or the appointment of a substitute decision maker.