The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) is authorized by provincial legislation to protect the legal, financial and property interests of children and youth under the age of 18.
A brief overview of the roles of the PGT are provided on this page. Please refer to the supplementary pages for more detailed information on any of these roles.
Protection of Legal Interests
The PGT protects the legal interests of minors by:
- Ensuring children's interests in estates are dealt with according to the law.
- Applying and acting as litigation guardian or next friend of a child where it is in the child's best interests to pursue litigation.
- Approving settlements for personal injuries and claims for loss upon the death of a parent and managing the proceeds.
- Ensuring children's interests are protected where there is a sale, lease, mortgage or other disposition of real estate owned by a child.
The PGT receives funds in a variety of contexts to hold in trust and manage on behalf of children and youth. As Trustee the PGT carries out the following duties:
- Receives the money (insurance, death benefits, permanent impairment, injury settlement or estate money).
- Deposits the money in the Common Fund, established pursuant to section 47 of The Public Guardian and Trustee Act, which is invested in a prudently diversified portfolio of equity and fixed income investments.
- Makes payments from trust funds where appropriate and authorized.
- Ensures funds are properly paid out as authorized.
The PGT acts as a property guardian for children who are permanent wards of the Ministry of Social Services. Through this role they:
- Manage legal claims and settlements for children who are permanent wards or long-term wards of the Ministry of Social Services.
- Apply for benefits such as the Registered Disability Savings Program (RDSP) for permanent and long-term wards.