We also assist those who are required to apply to the Surrogate Court for Letters of Administration because someone has died without a Will. In that case, the Wills and Succession Act governs who can administer an estate and who will inherit the property. While the application is similar to a Probate application, it is best to have counsel assist in making that application.
Dependant Adults – Guardianship and Trusteeship
Do you have an aging or sick parent, aunt, uncle who needs someone to look after their personal and/or financial needs? Do you have a child who is approaching 18 years old, but unable to care for themselves due to physical or mental incapacity?
You may need to become their Guardian and/or Trustee.
When an adult is, or becomes, mentally incapable of handling their own affairs, a loved one or close family friend often needs to step in to make decisions, dispose of or purchase property and tend to payment of their expenses. If the person did not prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney prior to becoming incapacitated, then one must apply to the Court to be appointed as their Guardian or Trustee.
A Guardian looks after the adult’s personal affairs – daily living, making and getting them to appointments, planning their activities, etc.
A Trustee looks after the adult’s finances. They ensure their bills are paid, keep track of income and prepare income tax returns.
Both are positions of great responsibility and care must be taken at all times to avoid conflict or personal gain from the adult you are caring for. Like an attorney under a Power of Attorney, you have a duty to keep the adult’s affairs confidential, but are accountable to the Court if someone believes that you do not have their best interests at heart.
If you are the parent of a mentally handicapped child, you will need the Court’s authority to continue to handle your child’s finances and personal decisions once they turn 18. While this may seem intrusive, you must remember that your child is still an adult with rights and responsibilities after they turn 18, although you will always be their parent.
A Guardianship/Trusteeship application is a lot of paperwork which delves deep into your personal life. The Court needs to be sure that the people caring for others will keep them safe and responsibly handle their finances. We will ask you a lot of questions, but those will permit us to complete the application in a timely manner without rework.
Take the first step by calling our Edmonton office at 780-429-1010 or email us today.