Guardian of Property

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What is a Guardian of Property’s Responsibilities?

A guardian is needed when a person does not have a Power of Attorney document and is not capable to make one.

Similar to the duties of a POA of Property, a guardian of property may manage the incapable person’s property only (e.g., real estate, money). Example of responsibilities include:

  • Ability to pay bills
  • Open/closing bank accounts, 
  • Buying services or goods
  • Manage your income or pension
  • Apply for benefits

Also, similarly to a POA of Property, a Guardian of Property is not allowed to:

  • Make decisions that concern the personal care (i.e. healthcare)
  • Make a will or change an existing will of the incapable person
  • Sell any property if it is gifted within the incapable person’s will (some exceptions)

Duties of a Guardian of Property

Guardians are responsible for making potentially life changing decisions for the incapable person It is important for the Guardian to establish a trusting relationship with the incapable person by involving them within the decision-making process if possible. This includes:

  • Maintain a stream of constant communication with the incapable person and their family;
  • Involve the incapable person in decision-making to best of their abilities if possible;
  • Consult supportive family who might be involved in the day-to-day care or contact with the incapable person;

Applying to be a Guardian of Property

To become a guardian, you will need to make an application with the court. There two possible ways that an individual can become a guardian of property:

  1. If the incapable person already has the Ontario Public and Guardian Trustee (OPGT) acting as their guardian of property, you can apply to them. This option is only available if the person applying to be guardian is a relative (ex. spouse, partner, child, etc.).
  2. If a person has become incapable and you now wish to become the guardian of property, you can file an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Importantly, both of these routes will require you to create a Management Plan. A management plan is a written explanation of how you intend to the manage the incapable person’s property and you will be required to follow this plan if you are granted (allowed) as the incapable person's guardian. For instance, if the incapable person owns real estate (e.g., piece of land, house), you will be required to indicate the value of those real estate properties and what you plan to do with them (keep it, sell it, rent it) and for what time period. A passing of accounts is required within 2 to 3 years.

For a guardian to be appointed, the courts must make a finding of incapacity. Click here to learn more about incapacity.

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