Your loved one’s mental decline may have been a concern of yours for months or even years. Now, however, you realize that your loved one may be a danger to himself or herself. Perhaps your loved one cannot remember to take important medications, pay critical bills or safely prepare meals. These and other circumstances may have you considering taking the step of applying to the Ontario courts for guardianship of person for your loved one.
Becoming the guardian for your loved one is not an easy decision, and it can be a complex process. It may require you to set aside your own life for a period of time to ensure the care and protection of your loved one. To seek guardianship of your loved one, you will likely go through these and other steps:
- Learn whether your loved one’s situation qualifies for guardianship
- Discuss the matter with your loved one and other close relatives
- Seek a mental capacity assessment of your loved one from a qualified, registered assessor
- Complete the appropriate forms to apply to the courts to become his or her guardian
If your loved one did not create an estate plan that includes a power of attorney designation, guardianship may be appropriate – especially if he or she is particularly vulnerable. By taking this step, you may protect your loved one from isolation, abuse, injury and fraud.
Not just anyone may apply to be a guardian, so it will be important for you to learn whether you are eligible and what the court will expect of you when you take on this role.