If a person is no longer capable of managing their own affairs, and they don’t have a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement in place, they may be vulnerable to elder abuse or fraud. A friend or relative of this person can be appointed as an adult guardian (called a “committee”) to take over that individual’s personal and financial affairs.
An application for adult guardianship is a complicated legal process. Courts in British Columbia will need medical evidence in order to determine the person’s capacity, whether adult guardianship is the proper outcome, and whether the proposed committee is the best person for the job. The application must be put before a judge in chambers, and evidence must be put into a sworn statement.
Once appointed, committees must keep detailed records of the person’s estate. They become responsible for matters like:
- taking care of the person’s property
- paying bills/expenses
- setting a budget and making prudent investments
- filing income tax returns
Individual guardianship gives the committee power over the person’s affairs, which means there is the potential for exploitation or abuse. The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (PG&T) will review each committeeship application and give their opinion on the proposal. Committees must continue to provide the PG&T with updates even after their application is approved.
Guardianship Lawyers - Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones
At Westside Family Law, we have the experience and expertise necessary to handle all legal issues related to adult guardianship. Our principal and founder, Mark G. Perry, was formerly in-house counsel at the Public Guardian and Trustee. Fill out the contact form below to set up a free consultation with a lawyer, or call us at 604-734-7911 to get started.