An adult who does not have the capacity to make financial or personal decisions may be exploited by others or may endanger his or her own financial or personal welfare. For his or her own protection, the adult may require a guardian or co-decision-maker. For the purposes of guardianship or co-decision-making, an adult is anyone 16 years of age or older.
If you are 18 years of age or older and have an interest in the personal or financial welfare of an adult, you may apply to a Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench to be appointed as a guardian or co-decision-maker for the adult. If you are a paid care provider or are in some other conflict of interest situation, you may not be eligible for appointment, unless the court considers you to be the most appropriate person to act as guardian or co-decision-maker.
You may apply to the court for appointment as:
- a personal or property guardian for individuals who are incapable of managing their own personal or financial affairs;
- a personal or property co-decision-maker for adults requiring assistance in decision-making but who do not require guardians; or
- temporary personal or property guardian in emergency situations.
Subject to the court order appointing you as property guardian of an adult, you have the authority to:
- open and close bank accounts;
- redirect pensions and other income;
- apply for benefits or supplementary income;
- choose pension options;
- deal with investments;
- collect debts;
- pay bills;
- buy goods and services;
- start or defend law suits, if there are financial implications;
- sell, store or dispose of personal belongings; and
- maintain or sell a house or vehicle.
Anything done by a property guardian is binding on the adult in the same manner and to the same extent as if the adult had done so while mentally competent.
Subject to the court order appointing you as personal guardian, you have the authority to make decisions with respect to the personal aspects of the adult’s life. However, a personal guardian does not have the authority to:
- consent to the withdrawal of life-support systems for the adult;
- consent to live organ donations by the adult;
- consent to the sterilization of the adult, unless it is part of a medically necessary procedure;
- consent for the adult to have an abortion, unless the continued pregnancy would threaten the life or health of the adult;
- consent to the termination of the parental rights of the adult;
- commence divorce proceedings on behalf of the adult; or
- interfere with the adult's religious practices, unless they threaten the health or safety of the adult.