In Canada, we respect individuals’ right to manage their affairs as much as possible. Unfortunately, sometimes life prevents us from addressing our affairs, whether due to an injury, illness, disease or other factors that cause the loss of capacity of an individual to make the right decisions about themselves or their financial matters.
Although this is often an elderly parent dealing with the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, there can be a wide variety of reasons, both expected and unexpected, that can occur at any time. However, the best method to deal with these potential unforeseen issues is via preventative measures such as a Personal Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney.
Our staff and lawyers have the knowledge and skill to help a potential caregiver apply for and obtain an order for supported decision-making, co-decision-making, guardianship or trusteeship or other relevant protection measures.
Under the law in Alberta, the Court does whatever it can to ensure that each individual can maintain as much authority for themselves as possible. As such, we have various categories of orders for dependent individuals.
Adults who have lost the ability to make decisions require support and assistance to effectively manage their financial and personal matters. A court order may be necessary to appoint someone as an adult trustee for financial decisions, an adult guardian for individual decisions, or both trustee and guardian for all decisions.
An adult trustee is appointed by the court to handle the financial decisions on behalf of an individual who can not make those decisions independently. The court grants the trustee legal authority to act in the best interest of the adult in managing their financial affairs.
Contact our team to learn more about Trusteeships.
Guardianship refers to the legal arrangement where one person, known as the “guardian,” is appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of another individual incapable of making those decisions themselves.
Guardianship is a significant legal responsibility and should be considered carefully. Our team of lawyers is ready with legal advice and guidance with Alberta’s laws and regulations is crucial in this process.
Co-decision-making is an alternative to full guardianship and is designed to support adults who may need assistance in making decisions but still want to retain some level of decision-making autonomy.
Co-decision-making allows an adult with decision-making challenges due to incapacity or disability to retain decision-making power for certain matters while appointing a co-decision-maker to assist and support them in making other decisions. This way, the adult can actively participate in decision-making and have more control over their life. An adult can decide who the co-decision-maker is and when they no longer want a co-decision-maker.
The terms and conditions of this type of order can be specific.
A supported decision-maker can assist the represented adult in communicating or making decisions, accessing and collecting information on their behalf to make those decisions. Courts of Alberta are hesitant to remove someone’s legal authority, so these types of applications are often prolonged and require a significant amount of information. Emergencies occur, and an emergency application can be brought, with the remaining paperwork must be completed after that. Our offices can assist with getting an application, review of an application, or even challenging an application.