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Guardianships & Capacity Archives

What if my incapacitated loved one hasn't assigned powers of attorney?

Understandably, people tend to avoid talking about the possibility of not being able to make their own decisions. When a plan for mental incapacity isn't in place, though, you run the risk of leaving to chance the control of your health and your property.

What is a guardian ad litem?

When a contentious divorce between parents takes place in Ontario, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent the children's interests. The role of a guardian ad litem is to provide a legal voice for someone who is not capable of doing so in court such as young children, infants or individuals who have been found incompetent. In addition to divorce cases, a guardian ad litem may be involved in contested inheritances, paternity lawsuits, child neglect or abuse cases.

Legal guardians' duties are clearly defined

Citizens of Ontario who appoint legal guardians as property caretakers for incapable individuals, such as elderly family members, may be interested to learn that the duties and powers of such guardians are limited by established legislation. According to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, guardians do not gain ownership of an incapacitated person's property, but they nonetheless play a crucial role in the management and maintenance thereof.

Guardian of property responsibilities in Ontario

An individual who becomes a guardian of property on behalf of a person who is deemed to be incapable may have questions about responsibilities. An individual who is unable to handle daily tasks such as paying bills, buying food and making other financial transactions may need a guardian to manage these issues on his or her behalf. A guardian assists in protecting the interests of the person whose property is being managed, but the guardian also protects the interests of those on the other ends of those financial transactions by ensuring that obligations are met.

Surge in dementia spurs review of Ontario's elder laws

Across Ontario and throughout Canada, the numbers of those with some type of dementia is projected to double by 2034 and reach an estimated 1.4 million. The skyrocketing numbers are impacting family members and loved ones in unprecedented ways, but one of the main areas of concern is over the care of seniors. A serious problem with current laws is that a person's children may all have equal say in their care unless one of them was previously assigned as a conservator with power of attorney.

Casey Kasem's case supports need for POA

Ontario law requires a power of attorney to facilitate relationships between the principal and other individuals, so this person cannot deny access to a loved one simply because the power of attorney does not like that person. Historic Los Angeles radio icon Casey Kasem did not have a power of attorney in place, and the current issue is whether a conservator should be appointed in the conflict between his wife and his children.