Home? Or a Retirement Home? The Court Must Decide

by: , April 19, 2016

An elderly woman suffers from dementia. Her two children are both her attorneys for property and personal care. Both have diametrically opposed plans for where she would live. In Walter Burnat v Mary Bosworth et al, 2016 ONSC 2607 (S.C.J.) the court had to decide whether the mother – Olga – would continue to live…read more

Aging Population Brings Greater Risk to Guardianship System

by: , November 27, 2015

An article last month in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Abuse Plagues System of Legal Guardians for Adults” noted a variety of complaints across the United States about guardians of property and personal care. In one nightmarish story, 71-year old Linda McDowell’s former housemate and companion helped file a court petition, unbeknownst to Ms. McDowell, seeking…read more

Nova Scotia repeals “habitual drunkard” law

by: , May 29, 2015

Until earlier this month, Nova Scotia had a statute on the books called the Inebriates’ Guardianship Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 227 which allowed for the court to appoint a guardian over a “habitual drunkard”. While Nova Scotia has other statutes which allow the Court to appoint a guardian for a person found to be incapable,…read more

An Unwelcome Guest – Guardian of Property Obtains a Writ of Possession

by: , May 27, 2014

In 1998, Ms. Tollis was declared incapable of managing her property.  In the same year, the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) became her statutory guardian of property.  Ms. Tollis held an interest in a house along with her brother, Mr. Tollis.  The interest in the house was Ms. Tollis’ primary financial asset. Shortly before…read more

Conflict of Laws and Guardianship

by: , December 27, 2013

Cariello v. Father Michele Perrella 2013 ONSC 7605, a guardianship proceeding heard by Justice Mesbur, is a poignant read, particularly at this time of year when people oft-express a desire to go “home for the holidays”. Born in Italy in 1933, Fr. Perrella became an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church and he was “incardinated”…read more

When A Custody Battle Turns into Competing Guardianship Applications

by: , December 6, 2013

In a recent Ontario case, divorced parents each sought sole guardianship of their mentally incapable adult daughter. The parents, who divorced in the 1980s, were unable to work together as joint guardians of their 42 years old mentally incapable daughter (“Isabella”). While both parents, who are now in their 70s, agreed that it would be ideal…read more

If There is a Valid POA, the Court Cannot Order a Guardianship

by: , September 30, 2013

The recent decision in Lehtonen v. Neill serves as a useful reminder of the sometimes overlooked subsection 22(3) of the Substitute Decisions Act.   This provision prohibits the court from appointing a guardian where the court is satisfied that decision making for the incapable person can be met by a less intrusive means.  It says: The Court shall not…read more

Powers of Attorney – Ensuring Access to a Loved One

by: , December 28, 2008

In our rapidly aging society, powers of attorney for personal care and property are now widespread and their importance is recognized by the general public. A family member or friend can also apply to the court to be appointed guardian of the person or the person’s property if powers of attorney have not been executed. …read more