I have written two previous posts on British Columbia’s new statutory property guardianship legislation and regulation coming into effect on December 1, 2014, the first dealing with the procedures for issuing a certificate of incapacity pursuant to which the Public Guardian and Trustee becomes the statutory property guardian of a person incapable of managing his or her own finances, and the second dealing with the criteria to be applied in determining whether a person is incapable.
In this post, I will summarize how a statutory property guardianship may be terminated.
Section 34 of the Adult Guardianship Act provides that an adult who has a statutory property guardian must be reassessed if any of the following apply:
1. “the adult is receiving psychiatric treatment in a facility designated under the Mental Health Act and the adult is discharged,”
2. the statutory property guardian decides that a reassessment should occur,
3. “the adult requests a reassessment and has not been reassessed within the preceding 12 months,” or
4. the court orders a reassessment.
This section gives a person in respect of whom a certificate of incapability has been issued the right to have a reassessment annually.
Under section 37 (3), if as a result of the reassessment, a qualified health care provider determines that the adult is capable of managing the adult’s financial affairs, and the health authority designate accepts that determination, then the statutory property guardianship ends, and the adult may then manage his or her own finances.
A second way that a person in respect of whom a certificate of incapability has been issued may terminate the statutory property guardianship is by making a successful application to court.
If the Public Guardian and Trustee as the statutory property guardian is satisfied that the statutory property guardianship is no longer necessary, she may also end it on giving the patient notice.
Finally, if the court appoints a committee for the adult under the Patients Property Act, then the statutory property guardianship ends, but the effect is to transfer the management of the adult’s finances to the committee. Under this provision a relative or friend of the adult in respect of whom a certificate of incapability has been issued may take over management from the Public Guardian and Trustee, by making an application to court.
It should be noted that the provisions for terminating a statutory property guardianship will apply to certificates of incapability that were issued under the Mental Health Act, before the new legislation and regulation comes into effect.