Written by Joanne on December 10, 2013
As a representative, how detailed do the financial records need to be? For example, do I need to keep a record or receipt if I am a representative and I buy my son some chocolate milk syrup? Is there a certain amount of money that needs to be spent in order to provide a financial statement? How many years do I need to keep records?
The Representation Agreement Act and accompanying Regulation sets out the requirements for record keeping by representatives. However, it does not address details such as what receipts to keep, the amount of money that must be spent in order to be reported or how many years to keep records.
The Representation Agreement Act is unique legislation. It was developed through a community-government partnership. The intent was to enable ALL adults to make a Representation Agreement so they will receive support from those they trust and who know them, if their mental capability is questioned.
The inclusive nature of the legislation means that Representation Agreements are being used by a much broader range of adults than those who make a Power of Attorney. For example, government encourages youth with developmental disabilities to make a Representation Agreement Section 7 when they transition to adulthood.
As often happens when you create something new, certain aspects don’t get as much attention as they should. Record keeping requirements could be one of those factors. No one put their mind to the possibility of representatives keeping records for a 19 year old through to their old age – perhaps for some 50 years – or for a spouse or parent with dementia who needs increasing amounts of help over many years. With the lack of specific guidelines, common sense will be required.
WHY KEEP RECORDS?
The Representation Agreement Act (RA Act) says all representatives, regardless of their area(s) of authority, must keep records of the things they do while acting as a representative. Nidus has a fact sheet on the role of a representative, which explains record keeping in more detail (see link below).
This post will focus on some aspects of financial record keeping for representatives who have authority for routine financial affairs under Section 7.