If You Don't Appoint a Substitute Decision-Maker
What happens if a Power of Attorney for Personal Care is not completed?
Ontario law does not ensure there will be a substitute decision-maker to make all your personal care decisions for you unless you appoint a substitute decision-maker through a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.
However, the law does make sure that there will always be a substitute decision-maker to make some health decisions for you, but this includes decisions only about:
- your health care, (e.g. treatments)
- your admission to a long-term care facility, and
- the personal assistance services you will receive in a long-term care facility.
If you have not designated a substitute decision-maker through a Power of Attorney for Personal Care, a health care provider must turn to the hierarchy of substitutes named in the law to make the above types of health decisions. The highest ranking person on this list who is available, capable and willing to make these decisions will become your substitute decision-maker for treatment.
- Your spouse, common-law spouse or partner
- Your child (if they are 16 years of age or older) or parent
- Your parent with right of access only
Custodial parents rank ahead of non-custodial parents
- Your brother or sister
- Any other relative by blood, marriage or adoption
- The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
The provincial Public Guardian and Trustee is the substitute decision-maker of last resort if there is no other appropriate person to act for you.