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Guardian Responsibilities

Property Guardians and Property Co-Decision-Makers

Property guardians and co-decision-makers have responsibilities.

According to the court and The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act, a property guardian or property co-decision-maker must exercise his or her power:

  • diligently;
  • in good faith;
  • in the best interests of the adult;
  • in the best interests of the adult’s estate (i.e. real and personal property);
  • in a way that protects the adult’s civil and human rights;
  • in a way that encourages the adult to:
    • participate in financial decision-making; and
    • act independently, to the greatest extent possible;
  • in a way that limits his or her interference in the adult’s life as much as possible.

In addition, at least once every year the property guardian or property co-decision-maker must provide an “accounting” to the Public Guardian and Trustee and the appropriate Queen’s Bench court house.  Essentially, he or she must outline: what money has come in for the incapacitated adult; how that money has been spent; what, if anything, has been done with other assets; how debts have been dealt with; and the like. This annual accounting will be compared against an inventory of the adult’s estate, a required document for the earlier court application. 

Examples of transactions revealed in an accounting review that may cause concern include:  a significant drop in net worth; the transfer of property into joint names with the property guardian or property co-decision-maker; and unusual expenses.  Under the law, property guardians and property co-decision-makers must not make gifts to third parties totaling more than $1,000.00 in an accounting period or make a gift to himself or herself without the authorization of the court.  Property guardians and property co-decision-makers are not permitted to make or change a will for an adult.

If the property guardian or property co-decision-maker’s annual accounting is not provided in a timely fashion or is found wanting, the Public Guardian and Trustee may apply to a judge of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench to have him or her removed as property guardian or property co-decision-maker.

The accounting must be in a particular form and sworn under oath.

A final accounting must be provided to the Public Guardian and Trustee and the appropriate Queen’s Bench court house within six months of the adult’s death, or the property guardian or property co-decision-maker being removed from office by a court order.

Personal Guardians and Personal Co-Decision-makers

Personal guardians and personal co-decision-makers have responsibilities.

According to the court and The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act, a personal guardian or personal co-decision-maker must exercise his or her power:

  • diligently;
  • in good faith;
  • in the best interests of the adult;
  • in a way that protects the adult’s civil and human rights;
  • in a way that encourages the adult to:
    •  participate in financial decision-making; and
    • act independently, to the greatest extent possible;
  • in a way that limits his or her interference in the adult’s life as much as possible.

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