Looking After A Dependent Person: Guardianship
Guardianship lawyers at Kahane Law Office can help. We understand the emotional difficulties when a family member or loved one loses mental capacity and can no longer make personal decisions for themselves. People who lose their capacity are dependent adults in the legal context. Guardianship is a process whereby authority is granted to an individual to make personal decisions on behalf of a dependent adult. The Alberta courts must grant an order for these decisions. If you need to become someone’s guardian and need help, call us in Calgary at 403-225-8810.
How Calgary Guardianship Lawyers Help
Our guardianship lawyers help by helping determine who the best person to make the application is. We then work with the applicant to put forward the application to the court. People ask us to help because the process is complicated, confusing and involves an application to the courts in Alberta. The process can take some time so it is good to start the process as early as you can. We are able to start applications quickly but the process itself takes time.
Guardianship Orders In Alberta Include:
- The adult’s health and safety;
- Day to day care of the person;
- The administration or withholding of medicine or any relevant medical care;
- The adult’s participation in any education, vocational, or other training;
- The persons with whom the adult may associate;
- Opportunities to travel or visit others;
- Control over whom may visit the person;
- The adult’s participation in social activities;
- Where, with whom, and under what conditions the adult is to live, either permanently or temporarily;
- The adult’s employment; and lastly
- The carrying on of any legal proceeding that does not relate primarily to the financial matters of the adult.
The Process For Guardianship
With all appointments as guardian, the applicant must apply to the courts for an order. The application must include supporting information about the best interests of the adult. Consequently, they specifically must include a plan on how the dependent adult will be looked after. In addition, the order allows for the appointment of an alternate guardians. These people are the back up guardian that can step up to act if the original person appointed cannot or will not act. This saves making a second application in these situations.
The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act and Regulations governs guardianship. This Act requires the consideration of less intrusive measures for the adult, including supported decision-making and co-decision making.
How Long Does It Take For An Order
The application process for a guardianship order often takes several months. An option exists for a more expensive rush application. Further, if anyone disputes as to whom will take on the role of guardianship, the application often takes much longer. Anyone wanting to ensure the following of their wishes, and avoid stress, costs and the wasting time, should prepare in advance. A basic application for an order usually takes about three to four months in Alberta.
Ways Around Needing These Orders
To avoid requiring an order, a simple and very inexpensive option exists. In Alberta, the solution is a personal directive. By getting an Personal Directive before someone loses capacity, you avoid having to go through process to apply to be a guardian. These documents often have other names. For example, some people refer to them as living wills, or advance medical directives. While some differ slightly, most often they include very similar terms. Personal directives are easy and quick to have drafted and are very inexpensive.
For more information, please watch our short video about a will package that includes a Personal Directive. Click hear to learn about how Guardianship can be avoided with an EPA. Also, please note, that if you have one of these types of documents, always update them if your representative losses capacity or the ability to act themselves. You may also be proactive by amending your document to replace them if they become to old or of poor health.
The Importance Of Taking Action Before It Is Too Late
Many people wait to get a personal directive in place. The think that they are young enough that they lack any need for one. However, you never know at what stage in life a person loses capacity. Once a person loses capacity, it is too late for them to sign the required documents. Also, while people thing that the loss of capacity only happens to old people, this is untrue. For example, many people lose mental capacity due to:
- Mental illness;
- An accident;
- Short term sickness or disease; and lastly
- The taking of specific medications, including certain pain medications.
When a family member disagrees as to the right person to look after their loved one, often family fighting erupts. Our litigation lawyers fight for you and your loved one in those situations. Further, if the person with control under a personal directive abuses or mismanages those powers, we help loving family members take charge. It is important for a person who lacks the ability to look after themselves, to have the advocate that they need.
Getting Help With A Guardianship Order Lawyer
Help is close at hand when you have a loved one whom loses capacity. We understand that when you need these orders, it is often a difficult time for loved ones. The Calgary guardianship lawyers at Kahane Law Office can help you when a family member or loved one lose capacity and need someone to make personal decisions for them. Our team is understanding and compassionate with family members dealing with this difficult situation. Call in Edmonton or surrounding area (780) 571-8463 or if you live in Calgary or surrounding area call (403) 225-8810 or lastly, feel free to email today to contact us.