Experienced Adult Guardianship & Trusteeship Lawyers Serving Marda Loop, Calgary
Court-Appointed guardians make personal decisions and court-appointed trustees make financial decisions for adults who lack the capacity to do so.
A court-appointed guardian makes personal decisions for an adult who lacks the capacity to do so. Guardians make decisions with respect to where the adult resides, the adult’s health care, the adult’s education, the people with whom the adult associates, and legal matters related to the adult.
A court-appointed trustee makes financial decisions for an adult who lacks the capacity to do so. A trustee can have legal authority to handle all financial matters related to the adult. Trustees pay bills, sell assets including real estate, receive income and benefits, and deal with financial institutions and the CRA, all on behalf of the adult.
Our adult guardianship and trusteeship services:
- Applications to appoint a new guardian or trustee
- Applications to review a current guardian and trustee order
- Applications for the examination and approval of trusteeship accounts
- Applications to discharge a guardian or trustee
- Urgent applications to appoint a guardian or trustee
- Applications to appoint a trustee for a limited purpose where the adult may have an interest in a third party estate
Legal fees will vary based on the nature, complexity, and urgency of the application as well as the adult’s assets and ability to pay for such costs.
In certain circumstances, where the adult has less than $7,000 in liquid assets, our firm will accept hardship cases where our fees are paid by the government.
All applicants will pay a $250 court filing fee when you submit your application. This fee may be waived if the adult has limited assets.
Please contact our office for more information and a detailed quote.
Questions? Here’s our top adult guardianship and trusteeship FAQs:
1. When might a guardian or trustee be appointed for an adult?
- When an adult is incapable of making decisions due to an illness, a traumatic injury, aging and dementia, or other mental health issues
- When a person who is incapable of making decisions due to a disability turns 18
2. I have a personal directive and enduring power of attorney for my family member, do I still need to apply for guardianship and trusteeship?
If an adult has executed a valid and enforceable personal directive, guardianship is not required. The personal directive will be enacted upon a declaration of incapacity and the person appointed will act on behalf of the adult to make personal decisions.
If the adult has executed a valid and enforceable enduring power of attorney, trusteeship is not required. The enduring power of attorney will be enacted upon a declaration of incapacity and the person appointed will act on behalf of the adult to make financial decisions.
However, sometimes guardianship and trusteeship is still required. Some examples include;
- Improper execution of the personal directive and/or enduring power of attorney
- Capacity issues at the time of signing the personal directive and/or enduring power of attorney
- Death or incapacity of appointed decision makers
- Limited authority under the personal directive and/or enduring power of attorney
3. Who determines if an adult needs a guardian or trustee?
Before any application is made, an adult’s capacity will be assessed by a qualified assessor. In most cases, this will be the adult’s physician or psychologist. The assessor will complete a Form 4: Capacity Assessment Report detailing the nature of the adult’s capacity to make decisions both personally and financially.
4. My spouse of many years has lost capacity to make decisions. Why can’t I make decisions for my spouse?
Being married does not give someone automatic authority to make decisions for their spouse. This is a common misconception for many people.
While you are competent and capable, you need to appoint your spouse by drafting a personal directive and enduring power of attorney. Once someone has lost mental capacity, it is too late and a guardianship and trusteeship application is required to obtain this authority to make decisions.
5. How do I apply to become someone’s guardian and trustee?
- A Capacity Assessment Form must be completed by a doctor or psychologist to determine if guardianship and trusteeship is required.
- An application must be drafted and signed. The application consists of a number of forms. The application will request specific authority related to the adult’s unique circumstances.
- The application is submitted either to court for a hearing / or the Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee for a desk application.
- The applicant and any proposed decision makers will undergo back checks which will include a criminal record check, credit check (trusteeship) and personal reference check.
- In most cases, a review officer from the Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee will meet with the adult to obtain their position on the application and provide a report to the court.
- A Justice of the Queen’s Bench of Alberta will review the application and grant a court order appointing a guardian and trustee.
6. How long does it take to appoint a guardian and trustee?
There are three ways to proceed with an application for guardianship and trusteeship:
- Urgent court hearing application
- Court hearing application
- Court desk application
Which route you take depends on the circumstances and the urgency. If there is a substantial risk to the adult’s health or finances court hearings can be booked quickly (within days or weeks). For non-urgent matters, desk applications are more appropriate and take an average of 6 months to process.
7. I have been appointed as a guardian and trustee, how do I know what my role entails?
It is important to understand your role as someone’s guardian and trustee.
One’s role is governed by the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act of Alberta. The Court order appointing you in your role will specify certain obligations such as review periods and accounting to the Court (trusteeship).
The Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee has additional resources available on their website: https://www.alberta.ca/office-public-guardian-trustee.aspx
Bruni Law is available to provide information on the duties and obligations of a guardian and trustee.
About Bruni Law
Bruni Law is a two generation law firm located in the Calgary community of Marda Loop. The Brunis, along with the support of their employees, strive to provide legal services in a friendly and approachable environment. Our office is easily accessible with free on-site parking available.
We look forward to assisting you with your legal needs.Learn More