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There is more than one way to support a Dependant Adult

Home // Wills and Estates Law // Dependant Adult

Under The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA), varying levels of support (see below) can be provided for a "Dependant Adult”, defined as a person over the age of 18 years who is unable to make personal or financial decisions for themselves as a result of an accident, illness or old age. What choice is best depends on the capacity of the Dependant Adult. "Some individuals need a little support, some need full support,” Wills & Estates Lawyer Andrew Geisterfer says.

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act for dependent adult support, including applying for guardianship.

Learn about the varying levels of support that can be arranged for a Dependent Adult, defined as a person over the age of 18 who needs help to make specified decisions.

Supported Decision Making - This option is best for adults who need help to make some, but not necessarily all, decisions. For example, the person providing the support, known formally as the "supporter” may be involved in healthcare decisions only. The agreement is between the Dependent Adult and the supporter. It is arranged through the signing of a form that is available from The Office of the Public Guardianship. There is no need to make a formal court application.

Co-Decision-Making – Some adults have limited decision making capability, but can function if they get the right kind of support. The person receiving the support must approve this arrangement and the person who will serve as the co-decision-maker. To become a co-decision-maker, you must complete an application, available through Office of the Public Guardian, that includes the findings of a healthcare professional hired to determine the decision-making ability of the person needing support. The person getting the support must agree with everything in the information package. A representative of the Office of the Public Guardian interviews the person getting support and notifies family members that someone has made an application to become a co-decision-maker.

Guardianship - If a person lacks the capability to make personal decisions, the Court will appoint a Guardian. The authority of the Guardian is limited to things the adult cannot handle. For example, the Guardian may handle all financial and legal matters, but not social activities. To apply to become a Guardian, you must obtain and complete the Guardianship Self Help Kit, available through the Office of the Public Guardian. A representative of the Office of the Public Guardian interviews the person getting support and notifies family members that someone has made an application to set up a Guardianship.

Legal Scenario

Leaking basement

"I moved into my new home in early January and at that time there appeared to be no issues with my basement. However, when the usual spring thaw came in April I noticed that my basement was leaking. What should I do?"

What Would Andrew Recommend?

This scenario highlights the importance of having a property inspection done before you sign a deal. A property inspector is trained to see thing you don’t see. For example, in the winter, when everything is frozen, you are not going to see any water accumulation in your basement and you may therefore assume it is dry. A trained and experience home inspector will look for stains on a wall or other indicators that there was a leak during the summer months. It’s even better if you also have the sellers expressly warrant that the property has never been subject to flooding and they are not aware of any flooding issues with the home. That way you have a legal recourse if it turns out that they were not being honest.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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