Guardianship

Our Services

At Lisa Feldstein Law Office we can help you become someone’s guardian.

We will provide you with advice about which type of guardianship, if any, is best in your circumstances. We understand that budget is often a concern. Whenever possible we work directly with clients so they can perform some of the tasks themselves in order to reduce costs.

In addition to drafting and filing guardianship applications, we provide other legal services relating to guardianship law. We provide advice to guardians about their rights and responsibilities. We advise family members who are concerned about whether a guardian is acting appropriately.

We also provide legal advice and answer your questions relating to ancillary health law matters such as admission to or discharge from psychiatric facilities or nursing homes. We can help you navigate the health care system while you work through the guardianship application process.

What is a guardian and why would a person need one?

What is a guardian and why would a person need one?

A guardian is a person who looks after the affairs and makes decisions for another person who is considered mentally incapable of making those decisions for himself or herself. The purpose of the guardian is to protect the incapable person and to look after his or her welfare. “Incapable” is a legal concept and does not mean the individual is unable to do anything for himself or herself. An “incapable” person might be someone with a brain injury, a loved one with special needs or a senior with advanced dementia.

A person is incapable of managing property if the person is not able to understand information that is relevant to making a decision in the management of his or her property, or is not able to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision. A person is incapable of personal care if the person is not able to understand information that is relevant to making a decision concerning his or her own health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety, or is not able to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision. Being “incapable” of making certain decisions does not mean that a person cannot express their wishes or experience a high quality of life.

There are two types of guardians: guardians of property and guardians of the person. A “guardian of property” manages the financial affairs of a person who is mentally incapable of managing property.  A guardian of property may pay bills, sell property or invest funds on an incapable person’s behalf. A guardian of property has power to do on the incapable person’s behalf anything in respect of property that the person could do if capable, except make a will (unless a court imposes other conditions).

A “guardian of the person” makes personal care decisions relating to health care, nutrition, clothing, shelter and hygiene on behalf of a person incapable of making their own personal care decisions. For example, a guardian of the person may provide consent to medical treatment or arrange for home care services. Often the two types of guardianship overlap; for example, when deciding whether to pay for the incapable person to live in a retirement or long-term care home (as this decision inherently involves aspects of property and personal care). One person can be both a guardian of property and guardian of the person.

If the incapable person previously drafted a valid Power of Attorney then the individual(s) appointed as the attorney(s) would make decisions on the incapable person’s behalf and a guardian may not be required. We can help you assess whether a Power of Attorney is valid and the best course of action in the circumstances.

Who can apply to become a guardian?

A guardian need not be a specific individual. Almost any concerned friend or relative can apply to become a person’s guardian. A primary consideration for the court is whether the applicant cares about the incapable person and whether the applicant is likely to make decisions in a responsible and trustworthy manner. We can apply to court on your behalf.

More than one person can apply together to serve as joint guardians.

How does a person become a guardian?

A person can become a guardian in two possible ways. The first way involves a court application brought by a guardianship lawyer. The second way applies in particular circumstances in which the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee is already serving as the guardian, and a person applies to replace the Office as the guardian. You should speak with a guardianship lawyer to determine which route is best in your circumstances.

What are the duties of a guardian?

The Substitute Decisions Act outlines numerous duties for guardians of the person and guardians of property. A guardian must act diligently, with honesty and integrity and in good faith. Failure to act properly can result in liability for the guardian. Guardians are also responsible for keeping a variety of lists and records.

In general, acting as a guardian is a significant responsibility with a variety of legal obligations and potential liability. The decision to apply to become a person’s guardian should not be made lightly.  Lisa Feldstein Law Office can assist you to determine whether to bring a guardianship application or whether there are other legal avenues that are more practical or cost-effective in the circumstances.

Guardianship

Our Services

At Lisa Feldstein Law Office we can help you become someone’s guardian.

We will provide you with advice about which type of guardianship, if any, is best in your circumstances. We understand that budget is often a concern. Whenever possible we work directly with clients so they can perform some of the tasks themselves in order to reduce costs.

In addition to drafting and filing guardianship applications, we provide other legal services relating to guardianship law. We provide advice to guardians about their rights and responsibilities. We advise family members who are concerned about whether a guardian is acting appropriately.

We also provide legal advice and answer your questions relating to ancillary health law matters such as admission to or discharge from psychiatric facilities or nursing homes. We can help you navigate the health care system while you work through the guardianship application process.

What is a guardian and why would a person need one?

A guardian is a person who looks after the affairs and makes decisions for another person who is considered mentally incapable of making those decisions for himself or herself. The purpose of the guardian is to protect the incapable person and to look after his or her welfare. “Incapable” is a legal concept and does not mean the individual is unable to do anything for himself or herself. An “incapable” person might be someone with a brain injury, a loved one with special needs or a senior with advanced dementia.

A person is incapable of managing property if the person is not able to understand information that is relevant to making a decision in the management of his or her property, or is not able to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision. A person is incapable of personal care if the person is not able to understand information that is relevant to making a decision concerning his or her own health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety, or is not able to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision. Being “incapable” of making certain decisions does not mean that a person cannot express their wishes or experience a high quality of life.

There are two types of guardians: guardians of property and guardians of the person. A “guardian of property” manages the financial affairs of a person who is mentally incapable of managing property.  A guardian of property may pay bills, sell property or invest funds on an incapable person’s behalf. A guardian of property has power to do on the incapable person’s behalf anything in respect of property that the person could do if capable, except make a will (unless a court imposes other conditions).

A “guardian of the person” makes personal care decisions relating to health care, nutrition, clothing, shelter and hygiene on behalf of a person incapable of making their own personal care decisions. For example, a guardian of the person may provide consent to medical treatment or arrange for home care services. Often the two types of guardianship overlap; for example, when deciding whether to pay for the incapable person to live in a retirement or long-term care home (as this decision inherently involves aspects of property and personal care). One person can be both a guardian of property and guardian of the person.

If the incapable person previously drafted a valid Power of Attorney then the individual(s) appointed as the attorney(s) would make decisions on the incapable person’s behalf and a guardian may not be required. We can help you assess whether a Power of Attorney is valid and the best course of action in the circumstances.

Who can apply to become a guardian?

A guardian need not be a specific individual. Almost any concerned friend or relative can apply to become a person’s guardian. A primary consideration for the court is whether the applicant cares about the incapable person and whether the applicant is likely to make decisions in a responsible and trustworthy manner. We can apply to court on your behalf.

More than one person can apply together to serve as joint guardians.

How does a person become a guardian?

A person can become a guardian in two possible ways. The first way involves a court application brought by a guardianship lawyer. The second way applies in particular circumstances in which the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee is already serving as the guardian, and a person applies to replace the Office as the guardian. You should speak with a guardianship lawyer to determine which route is best in your circumstances.

What are the duties of a guardian?

The Substitute Decisions Act outlines numerous duties for guardians of the person and guardians of property. A guardian must act diligently, with honesty and integrity and in good faith. Failure to act properly can result in liability for the guardian. Guardians are also responsible for keeping a variety of lists and records.

In general, acting as a guardian is a significant responsibility with a variety of legal obligations and potential liability. The decision to apply to become a person’s guardian should not be made lightly.  Lisa Feldstein Law Office can assist you to determine whether to bring a guardianship application or whether there are other legal avenues that are more practical or cost-effective in the circumstances.