Guardianship of Person

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What is a Guardian of Person’s Responsibilities?

Similar to the duties of a POA of Personal Care, a Guardian of Person can manage the incapable person’s personal care only. Example of responsibilities include:

  • Safety
  • Hygiene
  • Clothing
  • Diet
  • Medical Treatment
  • Housing, etc.

Also, similarly to a POA of Personal Care, a Guardian of Person is not allowed to:

  • Manage the incapable person’s property (e.g., homes, bank accounts, money).
  • Make a will or change an existing will of the incapable person

The guardian is only allowed to make decisions that the incapable person cannot make. This may include all or only some personal care decisions. For instance, the incapable person might be able to decide what they want to eat (diet), but might not be capable to make long-term medical treatment decisions.

Duties of a Guardian of Person

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 as much as 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;
  • Provide explanation about the duties and powers the guardian owes the incapable person

Apply to be a Guardian of Person

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 person:

  1. If the incapable person already has the Ontario Public and Guardian Trustee (OPGT) acting as their guardian of person, 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 person, you can file an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

One part of the application will require you to create a Guardianship Plan Form. In this form, you will need to outline your plan of care for the individual you are seeking guardianship over and you must follow this plan if you are approved. Speaking with a lawyer can help you establish a suitable plan of guardianship.

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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