Administrating An Adult's Financial Affairs

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Administrating
An Adult’s
Financial Affairs
Dunning Place
Administrating An Adult’s Financial Affairs
Appointment of the Public Guardian and
Trustee
The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) can be appointed as
property guardian for a dependent adult in two different ways:
The Mentally Disordered Persons Act
The first is under The Mentally Disordered Persons Act where:
––A physician issues a Certificate of Finding of Incompetence;
––A Chief Psychiatrist issues a Certificate of Incompetence;
––The PGT signs an Acknowledgement to act.
It should be noted, the PGT has up to one year to
acknowledge after the date of the Certificate of Incompetence.
When a Certificate of Incompetence is received, the file is
assigned to a trust officer and the next of kin is advised. If
the next of kin or any other interested party indicates that
they want to apply to be property guardian under The Adult
Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act, then they are
given a reasonable time (usually 90 days) to apply. If no
person applies or appears to be interested in applying and the
dependent adult’s financial affairs requires administering, then
an Acknowledgement to act will be signed by the PGT.
All Acts, Regulations and Forms referred to in this booklet
can be found at www.justice.gov.sk.ca/pgt
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The Adult Guardianship and
Co-decision-making Act
The second is under The Adult Guardianship and Co-decisionmaking Act, where a court can appoint the PGT as property
guardian. This occurs when no one else wants to act or the
family is in dispute.
There are three situations where the PGT can be appointed
property guardian:
1. While there may be an application made to the Court
by an interested party, the Court may decide that the
appointment of the applicant is not in the best interest of
the dependent adult and the Court may appoint the PGT.
2. An existing property guardian may wish to resign as
property guardian of the dependent adult and the PGT is
then appointed property guardian.
3. When a Certificate of Incompetence is not issued, but a
property guardian is required, an application can be made
by an interested party to have the PGT appointed.
In all three situations, the PGT usually consents to the
appointment.
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Information Required By the PGT
Before the PGT can act as property guardian, the Office
requires the following personal information:
1. Date of birth
2. Social Insurance number
3. Full name, if Social Insurance number is not provided
4. Other names used by the adult
This information is usually obtained from form P.G.T. 1
(Information Required by the Public Guardian and Trustee)
which can be viewed at our web site, and must accompany
the Certificate of Incompetence. The P.G.T. 1 form is
usually completed by a social worker or psychiatric nurse,
but in fact can be completed by anyone who can provide the
required information. The Office will accept the P.G.T. 1
form from any number of individuals so that the Office gets
the complete client information. If this information is not
provided, it may be difficult for the Office to obtain it and
processing may be delayed. Because of privacy legislation, the
Office is finding it increasingly difficult to obtain information
prior to becoming property guardian.
In addition to the required information, it is helpful when
as much information as possible is provided regarding
the person’s assets, such as name and address of financial
institutions and name and address of income providers.
Also, the name, address and telephone number of all next of
kin and particularly the most immediate next of kin, should
be provided. When a Certificate of Incompetence is received,
the Office initially writes the next of kin listed in the contact
section on the P.G.T. 1 form and advises them that the Office
has the authority to become property guardian unless they
wish to apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench. Since the
Office is a place of last resort, the Office encourages the family
to become property guardians provided they are willing and
suitable.
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After Becoming Property Guardian
Once the Office becomes property guardian either by court
order or by signing an Acknowledgment, the Office proceeds
as follows:
• If the client owns real property, a representative from the
Office will inspect the property, inventory the chattels and
secure the property if unoccupied. If the client occupies
the property, the Office will meet with him or her to
discuss the Office’s involvement and obtain pertinent
information. If the property is vacant, the Office will
secure it, arrange for regular inspections, retrieve any
valuable papers and arrange for storage or disposition of
chattels.
• The Office has a special process for determining whether
land (farms or homes) is held or sold. It involves trying
to determine what the dependent adult might prefer.
Sometimes maintenance obligations require sale in spite of
the wishes of the adult. If the property is going to be sold,
the Office will obtain valuations and arrange for sale by
listing or tender. If there are reasons the property cannot
be sold, the Office will try to obtain tenants.
• The Office will arrange for income to be sent to the Office
from Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement or
Spouses Allowance, Canada Pension (retirement, disability
or survivors), Saskatchewan Assistance Plan or private
pensions. This will require the completion of applications,
if the client has not already applied, and reviewing personal
documents to determine if the client may be eligible for
retirement or other benefits.
• Various financial institutions will be contacted to
determine if the client has any investments and the Office
will bring in bank accounts and other investments that are
cashable. Assets that are not brought in immediately are
set up on the accounting system.
• The Office reviews the adult’s investments and determines
whether it would be advisable to redeem or hold the
investment.
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• The Office also ensures that the client has appropriate
health coverage. This may involve applying for
Supplementary Health coverage, private group coverage
and Special Drug Support.
• The client’s debts will be ascertained and the Office will
negotiate with creditors to reduce or write off debts when
funds are limited.
• The Office will arrange to pay monthly expenses. When a
client lives on his or her own, this may require contacting
utility companies to have bills sent to the Office. This
may also involve arranging to pay rent or mortgage
payments. Providing a living allowance to the client on a
daily to monthly basis and setting up charge accounts for
prescription expenses or groceries may also be necessary.
When a client lives in a supervised setting, the Office
arranges to pay monthly maintenance and provide funds
for incidental needs. When a client has limited income, it
may be necessary to negotiate for a reduced maintenance
rate or, alternatively, to solicit assistance to find alternative
accommodation.
• The Office attempts to pay or reduce debts of the adult,
but first always ensures that current maintenance needs can
be met.
• The Office will take steps to insure all real property and
valuable chattels.
• On an ongoing basis, the Office reviews the client’s overall
financial situation to ensure that there is sufficient income
to meet his or her needs. When the income is insufficient,
the Office will first attempt to obtain additional funding.
If that is not possible, the Office will then reduce expenses
in consultation with the client and other support agencies.
When clients have ample income to meet basic needs, the
Office will try to ensure that any additional amenities they
can benefit from are obtained.
• The Office will also ensure that all previous tax returns have
been filed and will file income tax returns on an annual
basis.
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• The Office will make any applications under any federal or
provincial programs such as the Indian Residential Schools
program.
• The Office will join any class actions it is aware of to ensure
a client gets the appropriate benefits.
• The Office will negotiate a family property settlement, if
there has been a breakup of a relationship.
• The Office will make claims to recover funds on behalf of
the adult and, if necessary, commence a legal action.
• The Office will defend or settle any claims against the adult.
• The dependent adult is entitled to an accounting of the
financial transactions in the Office.
• The accounting shows the income received, the expenses
paid, the fees charged and the balance of funds that are
readily available.
• The accounting does not give an explanation of decisions
taken, but the client can ask for that at any time.
• The Office takes the position that the financial affairs of the
client are confidential and no one else is entitled to have
an accounting except a personal guardian, which includes a
son or daughter.
Common Fund
Pursuant to section 47 of The Public Guardian and Trustee
Act, all funds received by the Office are placed in the
Common Fund. This fund is made up of a bank account and
investments in bonds and stocks.
An investment manager, monitored by a consultant and an
Investment Advisory Committee, makes the investments in
accordance with the approved Investment Policy. The Policy
can be found on our web site.
Income is distributed and compounded quarterly. A history
of the rates of return earned on the Common Fund can be
found on our web site.
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Ceasing to be Property Guardian
The PGT will cease to act as property guardian for a
dependent adult when:
–– the Office receives a Certificate of Competence in respect
of the adult or the Certificate of Incompetence is revoked
pursuant to The Mentally Disordered Persons Act;
–– the Office receives a copy of a court order appointing
another property guardian or discharging the PGT from
his or her duties; or
–– the adult dies.
When the PGT ceases to act as property guardian, the
Office releases the property it is holding to the adult,
another property guardian, the executor or administrator,
and provides an accounting. The Office also advises any
companies or agencies that the Office has been dealing with
on behalf of the adult that the Office is no longer involved.
In the case of a deceased client, the PGT will require Letters
Probate or Letters of Administration, if the PGT is holding
funds in excess of $10,000.00.
This booklet is a summary and a guide based on the law. It is
not as comprehensive as the law itself. It is not legal advice.
If, after reading this booklet, you have questions or are
uncertain about how to interpret the information, you should
consult with a lawyer.
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Contact Information
Public Guardian and Trustee of Saskatchewan
100 - 1871 Smith St.
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4W4
Telephone: (306) 787-5424
Toll Free: 1-877-787-5424
Fax: (306) 787-5065
Email: [email protected]
Web site: www.justice.gov.sk.ca/pgt
Office Hours:
Monday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Closed for the noon hour and holidays)
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