As people age, they may become unable to make decisions for themselves. At this time, adult children or other family members may need to step in and apply for a court order that gives them the ability to make these decisions.
When an adult does not have the mental capacity to make decisions, a family member or friend can apply to the court for an order of guardianship and trusteeship. This may need to be done because an adult has been injured in an accident or has a disease that has left him or her without mental capacity, or has reached the age of 18 but suffers from a severe mental disability.
If a person has a personal directive or an enduring power of attorney, he or she does not need a guardian or trustee. The personal directive will spell out who should act for the person and which medical treatments they are willing and not willing to receive, should they become mentally incompetent. The enduring power of attorney will spell out who should manage the person's property and money.
How We Help
From a practical standpoint, we help you prepare all the documents you need to obtain an order of guardianship and trusteeship, including helping you prepare your plan for caring for the represented adult. We will submit the documents for you and respond to requests from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee so that the process moves forward as smoothly as possible.
Taking control of someone else's affairs can be a highly sensitive matter. For example, some seniors resist the idea of handing over control of their finances or their decisions to their adult children, even if it is in their best interests to do so. But applying for guardianship and trusteeship can help ensure your loved one is safe, protected, and well cared for. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you gain peace of mind.
Obtaining an Order of Guardianship & Trusteeship
A Capacity Assessment Report is required to obtain an order. It must be completed by a person who holds a certificate that allows them to complete these assessments, usually a physician, psychologist, or other healthcare professional.
The assessment report is included with the application to the Court of Queen's Bench, along with other information about the adult, the applicant, the family, and plans for guardianship and trusteeship.
A representative of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee reviews the information, meets with the adult, and conducts reference and credit checks on the applicant. The court has the option of appointing the applicant to act as guardian, trustee, both, or neither.
Options for Families
Under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, there are a number of options to help adults with making decisions. If an adult cannot make personal care decisions, a guardian is appointed to make those decisions. If an adult cannot make financial decisions, a trustee is appointed to do so. In most cases, people need both a guardian and a trustee, and the court usually appoints one person to fill both roles.
Some people are capable of making decisions if they have a little assistance. In these cases, the adults can designate an individual to help with supported decision-making. This allows the supporter to access the supported adult's personal information and help with decision making but the supporter cannot make decisions for the supported adult.
If an adult's ability to make decisions is very impaired but a capacity assessor determines that he or she can make decisions with guidance, an application for a co-decision-making order can be made. The co-decision-maker provides support and guidance but the adult makes the decision. The co-decision-maker and must do whatever is required to implement the adult's decisions once they've been made.