How does guardianship work?

There are two main types of guardianship.

A guardian of property is someone who has been appointed by a court to make financial decisions on behalf of another adult. Property decisions involve finances, income, investments and the like.

A guardian of the person is someone who has been appointed to make personal care decisions on behalf of another adult. Personal care decisions involve health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety.

The person who is under guardianship loses his or her right to make independent decisions in the area in question. This is a drastic step; guardianship should therefore be treated as a last resort. For instance, if the person is capable of signing a Power of Attorney, that is almost always preferable to a guardianship application.

The would-be guardian must be appointed by a court order. The process of applying to the court for appointment takes several months at a minimum.

Before appointing a guardian, the court must be satisfied that the person in question is “incapable” of making decisions related to their property and/or personal care. Broadly speaking, this means that the person is unable to understand and appreciate information that is relevant to the decisions in question. The evidence that will be required includes at least one capacity assessment carried out by an assessor with specialized training and qualifications.

The court must also be convinced that the applicant is a suitable choice for the role. At a minimum, this means that he or she knows the person well and can be trusted to make decisions on the person’s behalf with the utmost integrity.

For more information or to make an appointment to discuss making a guardianship application, contact PooranLaw today.