Appointing a Guardian in Your Personal Directive

Most people appreciate the importance of appointing a guardian(s) for your minor children in their Wills. If both parents are deceased or unable to act as guardian, people commonly nominate a trusted relative or friend to raise their children. The Executor of the Will can support the Guardian financially from the trusts established in the Will.

It is also possible that your children may require a guardian during your life if you are ever incapacitated, and the other parent is unavailable. Section 7 of the Personal Directives Act allows for this:

Contents of personal directive

7(1) A personal directive may contain information and instructions respecting any personal matter, including, without limitation, the following:


(e) if the maker is a guardian of a minor, designating an agent to take over the care and education of the minor until


(i) another guardian of the minor takes over the care and education of the minor,

(ii) a guardian is appointed to take over the care and education of the minor under the Family Law Act or the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, or

(iii) a determination is made under section 10.1 that the maker has regained capacity.


The agent that takes over the care and education of your minor children can receive financial assistance from the Attorney appointed in your Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney should be drafted to include a clause that the Attorney can provide maintenance for your dependent children (and guardian).


We recommend that families create all three documents – a Will, Power of Attorney (financial affairs) and Personal Directive (health and personal affairs). Without these documents, your family may have to apply to court before they can assist you.


Peter Robinson (58 Posts)

Peter G. Robinson is an accomplished and skilled general practice lawyer in Calgary, Alberta. Over his 20 year career, Peter has carved out his niche in Residential Real Estate, Wills & Estate Planning, and Probate Applications. Uniquely available to his clients, Peter is a calm and patient communicator who easily puts his clients at ease with straight-forward explanations of legal concepts. Blogging is his latest venture to cultivate awareness of NW Calgary Law, a law firm where he is the hands-on leader of an enthusiastic team dedicated to prompt and efficient service. Follow Peter on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit The content contained in these blogs is intended to provide information about the subject matter and is not intended as legal advice. If you would like further information or advice on any of the subjects discussed in this blog post, please contact the author at NW Calgary Law at 403.265.3010 or

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