Authoritative Advice And Guidance For Guardianship Matters

The Patients Property Act (PPA) sets out the procedure to be followed to appoint a decision-maker for an adult who is incapable. Known as a guardian or conservator in other jurisdictions, in British Columbia the person appointed as decision-maker is called a "committee" (com-mit-TEE; the incapable person is called a patient).

McLellan Herbert, Barristers & Solicitors' deepest knowledge and skill lie in the area of representation for incapable persons or their family members applying to become decision-makers. Vancouver elder law lawyer Deidre J. Herbert is recognized for her many contributions to books and articles in this area.

Helping Clients Navigate Through The Committee Process

A committee may be empowered by the court to make decisions for the incapable person with respect to financial and legal matters and/or personal and health care matters. Anyone can apply to be appointed committee for an incapable person, supported with affidavits of incapacity sworn by two doctors.

Most applications are straightforward. But when they are not, they can be exceptionally emotionally draining, setting family members against family members — possibly including the supposedly incapable person, who may not agree with the assessment that he or she is incapable or with the choice of proposed committee.

Defusing The Situation When Committeeship Applications Are Contested

Sometimes, family members cannot agree as to who should act as committee. When relations deteriorate, McLellan Herbert's first objective is to defuse the fight. One solution may be to engage an independent trust company, a trusted family member or the public guardian and trustee (PGT) to act as the committee.

In some mental capacity dispute cases, asking the incapacitated person who he or she would like to see speak on his or her behalf is also an option. If agreement about a committee cannot be reached, the decision will be made by the court.

When a beloved elder requires guardianship, the situation is emotionally sensitive, requiring lawyers who are not only skilled, but also empathetic. McLellan Herbert lawyers' long experience with PPA applications gives them that empathy.

Book A Consultation With Us

Contact the firm online or call 604-901-5186 or 800-449-4858 to set up an initial consultation about your elder law needs. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Hospital and home visits can be arranged.