The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) can be appointed as property guardian for a dependent adult in two different ways. The first is where a Certificate of Incapacity is issued pursuant to The Public Guardian and Trustee Act and the PGT determines that it is appropriate that it sign an Acknowledgment and act as property guardian. The second is where a court has appointed the PGT as property guardian pursuant to The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act.
Certificate of Incapacity
If an adult lacks capacity, their physician can examine them and, if appropriate, issue a certificate of finding of incapacity. This is then sent to the Chief Psychiatrist who will sign a Certificate of Incapacity where appropriate. The PGT is notified of all Certificates of Incapacity. The PGT attempts to contact family members to determine if they wish to apply to the Court to become property guardian. If no person applies or there is no appropriate person available to act and the adult's financial affairs require administering, then an Acknowledgment to act will be signed by the PGT. The PGT then commences to administer all financial affairs of the adult.
Appointment pursuant to The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act
The court can appoint the PGT as property guardian under the provisions of The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act. This normally happens in the following situations:
- 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.
- An existing property guardian may wish to resign as property guardian of the dependent adult and the PGT is then appointed property guardian.
- When a Certificate of Incapacity 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 if no other suitable alternative exists.