What is the Public Guardian and Trustee?
While Ontario provides for citizens to make their own decisions and appoint substitute decision-makers, there is also provision for a Public Guardian and Trustee who can act on behalf of citizens who are mentally incapable of dealing with their own finances and where there is no one else who can do so.
How is the Public Guardian and Trustee appointed as guardian for property?
A physician or health care practitioner who has been trained as an “assessor” has the authority to determine whether a person requires a substitute decision-maker to act on his/her behalf. Where no attorney for property has been appointed, or the person appointed is unable to act, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) becomes the statutory guardian of property once an individual has been assessed as incapable of managing property and found in need of such assistance.
Are fees charged by the Public Guardian and Trustee?
The OPGT is required to charge fees for services provided to individuals whose property falls under its guardianship. Fees are based on the Regulations to the Substitute Decisions Act and are currently set at 3% of the assets in the hands of the OPGT plus 3% of disbursements and a care and management fee of 3/5ths of 1% of the average value of the assets. Legal work, tax filing and property management services are charged at a rate established by the OPGT.
Is it possible to replace the appointment of the Public Guardian and Trustee?
A relative of the person may apply to replace the PGT as the guardian of property. The PGT will consult with the individual and his/her caregivers upon such a request and require that the relative submit a management plan for the incapable person’s property.
A relative of the person may request that they become the guardian. The Public Guardian will consult with the individual and his/her caregivers upon such a request and require that the relative have a reasonable plan to provide guardianship support.
Can the appointment of the Public Guardian be appealed?
An individual may contest the appointment of the Public Guardian and Trustee. A client representative, who is an employee of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, can provide guidance on how to do this. The individual may use the services of a lawyer to appeal the appointment. The appeal is made to the Consent and Capacity Board. (See information about the Consent and Capacity Board elsewhere in this Guide).
What services are offered by the Public Guardian and Trustee?
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) offers the following services:
- Property Guardianship.
- Personal Care Guardianship.
- Decisions About Treatment and Admission to Long Term Care.
- Guardianship Investigations.
- Appointment of Private Guardians of Property.
- Acting as Litigation Guardian.
- Estates Administration.
Where can I find more information about the Public Guardian and Trustee?
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee offers information brochures on their web site:
- When the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee Becomes Your Guardian of Property.
- Estates Administration.
- The Role of the OPGT in Guardianship Investigation.
- The Role of the OPGT in Providing Property Guardianship Services.
- Becoming a Guardian of Property.
- The Role of the OPGT in Making Substitute Health Care Decisions.
- Powers of Attorney and “Living Wills” Some Questions and Answers.
Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee – 595 Bay St., Ste. 800; Toronto ON M5G 2M6, Toll-free: 1-800-366-0335, Phone: 416-314-2800, TTY: 416-314-2687, Fax: 416-314-2695 www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/
Sourced from GUIDE TO PERSONAL CARE AND PROPERTY For Older Adults with a Developmental Disability , The Ontario Partnership on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, 2008 http://www.opadd.on.ca