When an adult loved one can no longer make decisions for themselves about their property and finances, and/or their personal care, and there is no valid power of attorney in place, a guardianship application to the court may be needed.
If you or someone you know needs to be appointed as a guardian, we can help with this challenging and sensitive matter. We can help determine who would be suitable to become guardian, prepare the necessary court materials, and appear before a judge to obtain the appropriate court orders.
In Ontario, guardianship orders are made under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, which is provincial legislation. For guardianship of the person, a judge must find that the dependant person is incapable of personal care. For guardianship of property, a judge must find that the dependant person is incapable of managing their property. In either case, a capacity assessment is generally required to be performed by a qualified capacity assessor.
A judge must also approve of the person applying for guardianship as being suitable, and conditions on the guardianship may be imposed. The guardianship may be limited in scope or duration. Submitting care plans to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee may be required, and a bond might need to be obtained to protect the dependant person’s assets from misuse.
The process can be contentious if family members cannot agree on who should be guardian, or if the dependant person objects.
Our lawyers understand that seeking guardianship comes at a difficult time, and are equipped to navigate the legal intricacies of this complicated process.