Amendments to Powers of Attorney Act

” Your Financial Security Advocacy Committee has been concerned about a number of the sections of the Nova Scotia Powers of Attorney Act which could be open to financial abuse to seniors. We have been working diligently on your behalf to have the Act tightened up to avoid these situations. We are pleased that our efforts have been successful in seeing these amendments to the Act tabled in the Legislature on April 5. All of our recommended changes were not included but the Department of Justice has agreed to consider further changes at a later date.”

News release

Amendments to Powers of Attorney Act

April 5, 2022 – 1:43 PM

Legislation introduced today, April 5, offers additional safeguards to prevent abuse of those who appoint another person to manage their affairs under a power of attorney.

“When doing estate planning, people should have peace of mind and trust that their wishes will be carried out as they intended,” said Justice Minister Brad Johns. “We are making changes to ensure the actions of those appointed as power of attorney are more transparent so that others can intervene if problems like misuse or financial abuse arise.”

Powers of attorney are important advance planning tools for adults who wish to appoint someone they trust to make decisions for them respecting their property and finances temporarily or if they become permanently incapable of making those decisions.

The changes will improve and modernize the legislation. They will clarify the rights and responsibilities of all individuals and add additional safeguards to protect those who choose to use powers of attorney.

They include:

  • new requirements for the valid execution of a power of attorney, including that it be in writing, dated and witnessed by two people;
  • incorporating modern concepts of capacity, including an outline of the required approach to decision-making;
  • outlining the donor’s rights and protections, including new safeguards such as the option to appoint a monitor to whom the attorney must also report periodically and upon request.

The government will continue to review the act for potential future changes.
The amendments will come into effect upon proclamation.


Any kind of abuse is completely unacceptable, and we know that financial abuse is a serious concern for many older Nova Scotians. The amendments introduced today will deliver peace of mind for seniors and ensure they have the dignity and respect they have earned. Barbara AdamsMinister of Seniors and Long-Term Care

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons, CARP Nova Scotia, was pleased to be consulted by the government in changes to the Powers of Attorney Act. We have been advocating for some time on behalf of the many seniors of our province. Roy Hayward, Acting Chair, Financial Security Advocacy Committee, CARP

Quick Facts:

  • the Powers of Attorney Act came into effect in 1988 and has undergone minor amendments since that time

Additional Resources:

Bills tabled in the legislature this spring are available at: https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/bills-statutes/bills/assembly-64-session-1
Legal Info Nova Scotia – Power of Attorney: https://www.legalinfo.org/wills-and-estates-law/power-of-attorney


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