Gouvernement du Québec - Justice

Power of attorney (mandate)

Power of attorney (mandate).There are many different situations in which you need to give another person responsibility for carrying out a particular action on your behalf. For example, you could be leaving on vacation and not have time to sell your car or sign the lease for a new apartment. Or you could be physically disabled, but mentally sound, and need someone to carry out your financial transactions. In each case, you can use a mandate to give a person you trust responsibility for handling these actions on your behalf.

The type of mandate discussed in this document should not be confused with a mandate given in anticipation of the mandator’s incapacity.

The type of mandate presented here authorizes a person to carry out everyday administrative tasks on behalf of another person – for example, to pay bills or perform bank transactions, or to sign a lease for an apartment or a contract to sell a building. In other words, the mandate concerns only the administration of property. It is commonly known in English as a “power of attorney”.

A mandate given in anticipation of the mandator’s incapacity is a mandate that gives a person full authority to consent to medical care and to administer the property of another person, or both. However, it becomes executory only when homologated by the Court based on proof of the mandator’s incapacity. For more information, see the publication In case of incapacity: the mandate , published by the Curateur public du Québec.

This leaflet sets out the main legal rules governing mandates. However, certain institutions or organizations, such as banks, may have their own requirements. You should contact them for more details about your specific case.

Definitions
The contract
Remuneration of the mandatary
Mandator's obligations
Mandatary's obligations
Termination of the mandate
Sample mandate 1: Special mandate for the lease of an apartment
Sample mandate 2: Special mandate for the administration of receipts
Sample mandate 3: General mandate for the administration of property
For more information


Definitions

Homologate

Approve or validate an agreement to give it the legal value of a court judgment.

Full administration

With respect to a mandate, the power of full administration requires the holder of the power, in other words the mandatary, to preserve the property and make it productive, and to use it for its intended purpose.

Simple administration

With respect to a mandate, the power of simple administration requires the holder of the power, in other words the mandatary, to perform all the acts necessary for the preservation of the property or useful for the maintenance of the use for which the property is ordinarily destined.

Revoke

Cancel a legal document.

The contract

A mandate is a contract by which one person designates another person to represent him or her, in other words act on his or her behalf, in legal dealings with a third party. The person who grants the mandate is called the mandator, and the person who accepts the mandate is called the mandatary.

The mandate can be given orally, or in writing. However, in the event of a dispute, statements are easier to prove if they are backed up by a written document. A written mandate also reassures third parties that they are not dealing with an impostor, but with a genuine mandatary. This document deals specifically with mandates given in writing.

A mandate may consist of a private written document or a more complex document drawn up with the help of a legal adviser.

It must contain

  • the date on which it is drawn up,
  • the name of the mandator,
  • the name of the mandatary or mandataries,
  • a description of the duties conferred on the mandatary, and
  • the signature of the mandator.

No witnesses are needed and you are not required to register the document with a notary. The mandatary does not need to be present when the document is drawn up, but he or she must have accepted the mandate. Acceptance is either express, in other words stated formally, or tacit, in which case it is not stated formally but can be deduced from the mandatary’s silence or from the actions he or she takes under the mandate.

A mandate may be special, in other words given for a single, specific purpose. In this case, it must be formally expressed. If you ask a friend to sell your car for you, a standard mandate form exists that has been prepared specifically for that purpose by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.

A mandate may also be general. For example, you can ask a friend to manage all of your business, but if the mandate is expressed in broad terms and does not set out specific powers, the mandate is limited to simple administrative powers only and your friend will not be able, for instance, to sell your house or car without specific authorization.

The powers of the mandatary extend not only to what is specified in the mandate, but also to everything that is incidental to it. This means that you could mandate someone to sell your car, but if the transmission fails and the potential buyer insists that it be replaced, the mandatary could have the repairs made if doing so is necessary to secure the sale.

Remuneration of the mandatary

The mandate is presumed to be carried out for remuneration if the services are provided by a professional, but friends or family members are presumed to perform the services without charge.

There is nothing to prevent you, however, from stipulating that a friend or relative receive financial compensation. The two of you should discuss the matter and make sure everything is clear from the start, since the law will require you to pay the agreed amount.

It is important to realize that you will have to pay the amount whether or not the mandate has been successfully completed, provided, of course, that the mandatary is not at fault. You can avoid this problem by including a clause in the contract stating that payment will not be made in the event of non-completion.

Mandator's obligations

The person who gives the mandate, the mandator, must cooperate with the person who accepts it, the mandatary, and at the mandatary’s request must advance any sums required to execute the mandate. The mandator must also reimburse the mandatary for all reasonable expenses incurred in executing the mandate and pay any remuneration to which he or she is entitled. To refer back to the example given above, if the mandatary had the car’s transmission replaced but was unable to complete the sale, the mandator would still have to reimburse the mandatary for the cost of the repairs, plus interest. Interest is calculated from the day on which the money was disbursed.

Mandatary's obligations

The mandatary must execute the mandate with care, act honestly and in good faith, and avoid any conflict of interest.

The mandatary must keep the mandator informed about the progress of the mandate when asked to do so by the mandator or as circumstances require, notify the mandator as soon as the task has been accomplished, and hand over any money or documents received on the mandator’s behalf.

The mandatary must perform the mandate personally, unless the mandator has given authorization to seek assistance. In unforeseen circumstances, however, the mandatary may be forced to get help and delegate duties, in which case the mandatary is responsible for the actions of any person providing assistance.

If the mandator has specifically stated that the mandatary may seek assistance, the mandatary is responsible only for the care used in selecting a substitute and giving instructions.

In all cases, the mandator can seek redress from the person chosen by the mandatary as a substitute.

Termination of the mandate

The mandate terminates when

  • both parties have fulfilled their obligations,
  • it has become impossible to perform the obligations,
  • the mandator revokes the mandate, or
  • the mandatary withdraws from the mandate.

It also ends when either of the parties dies, becomes bankrupt or is declared incapable by being placed under protective supervision1.

Top


Sample mandate 1
Special mandate for the lease of an apartment

I, the undersigned, Mike Smith, currently residing at 2424, rue Rostand in Québec, hereby name as my mandatary Shawn Jones, currently residing at 1212, rue Bellemare in Montréal.

I grant him the power to:

  • Rent in my name and on my behalf, from Bloc Hugo inc., an apartment bearing the street address 114-233, rue Alexandre, in Montréal, from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009;

  • Agree in my name to pay a sum of $800 rent per month during that period;

  • Sign all relevant contracts and documents including the standard lease for a dwelling, and perform any act necessary for the execution of this mandate.

Signed at Québec, this 12th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

Acceptance (optional)

I, the undersigned, Shawn Jones, agree to perform the mandate entrusted to me in this document by Mike Smith.

Signed at Montréal, this 16th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

__________________________________
(address)



Sample mandate 2
Special mandate for the administration of receipts

I, the undersigned, Maryse Bowen, currently residing at 125, rue Champlain in Québec, hereby name as my mandatary my son Julian Bowen, currently residing at 55, rue Taschereau in Québec.

I grant him the power to:

  • Have access to and open my safety deposit box No. 817 at the Caisse populaire XYZ, take possession of its contents and sign any relevant document;

  • Endorse, in my name, any cheque, interest or dividend coupon;

  • Deposit these amounts at the Caisse populaire XYZ in my savings account No. 76543;

  • Deliver to me $800 in cash on the first day of each month;

  • Sign all relevant contracts and documents and perform any act necessary for the execution of this mandate.

Signed at Québec, this 12th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

Acceptance (optional)

I, the undersigned, Julian Bowen, agree to perform the mandate entrusted to me in this document by my mother, Maryse Bowen.

Signed at Québec, this 16th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

__________________________________
(address)



Sample mandate 3
General mandate for the administration of property

I, the undersigned, Peter Clark, currently residing at 321, rue Cartier in Montréal, hereby appoint as my mandatary Louis Duncan, currently residing at 482, avenue d’Iberville in Montréal.

I invest my mandatary with the power to administer my movable and immovable property according to the rules of simple administration.

Signed at Montréal, this 12th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

Acceptance (optional)

I, the undersigned, Louis Duncan, agree to perform the mandate entrusted to me in this document by Peter Clark.

Signed at Montréal, this 16th day of February, 2008.

__________________________________

__________________________________
(address)


________
1. The causes for the extinction of obligations are listed in article 1671 of the Civil Code, and in various articles of Division V of Chapter IX, entitled Termination of Mandate (articles 2175 to 2185).

For more information

Mandate in Case of Incapacity
    • Curateur public
Proxy form for any vehicle registration operation
    • Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec

The content of this document is strictly informative and has no legal value.

If you find some of the information difficult to understand, do not hesitate to contact us. Please note, however, that we cannot interpret the information to apply it to a specific situation.

Top




Latest update: February 14, 2013



General informationPolicies, Studies and ReportsAdministrative documents
Publications for saleAccess to informationPolicy on privacyAccessibility