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    HomeNews & ArticlesPowers of Attorney and Guardianship
    General Interest

    Powers of Attorney and Guardianship

    August 30, 2012  |  By:  Oatley Vigmond

    None of us ever expects to be involved in a serious accident. However these accidents happen every day. In many cases, the accident victims are left with injuries that temporarily or permanently compromise their ability to make decisions about financial affairs and/or personal care. Many of us have a will. Most of us do not have a Continuing Power of Attorney. A Continuing Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone else to act on your behalf even if you become mentally incapable.  It is a good idea to have a signed Continuing Power of Attorney which allows your spouse or loved one to legally make decisions on your behalf while you are recovering from your injuries.

    What happens if you do not have a signed Continuing Power of Attorney and you become incapable of managing your property and personal care? In that event, a statutory guardian must be appointed by the Superior Court of Justice. If a person does not have a loved one who is able and willing to act as their statutory guardian then the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”) may do so. The PGT is an Ontario government office that, among other things, keeps a register of all statutory guardians in the province and investigates reports of abuse or neglect of incapable persons.

    How do you know when someone is incapable of managing their affairs? People who are over 18 in Ontario are assumed to have capacity to manage their property and personal care unless they are found to be incapable by a capacity assessor pursuant to the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 (“SDA”). The SDA is the Ontario law that governs what may happen when someone is not able to make certain types of decisions. Any nurse, social worker, physician, psychologist or occupational therapist in Ontario can take courses on capacity assessment and register as a capacity assessor with the Ontario government. The PGT maintains a list of these assessors. If you or a loved one have been in an accident and are concerned about issues of capacity we may be able to help.

    About the Author

    Oatley Vigmond

    Personal injury law is all we do. Our skilled team of personal injury lawyers and accident benefits specialists are committed to securing the best possible outcome for those with catastrophic...

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