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When an adult is or becomes unable to care for himself or herself, they are said to be a dependent adult according the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act of Alberta.
A dependent adult may require a guardianship order, a trusteeship order, or both.
If you believe that a loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves or their finances in their own best interests, you may wish to apply for guardianship and/or trusteeship over them.
This is an application done through the courts that requires you to show why the dependent adult requires help and how you are able to help them. Our office has experience in handling these matters and we would be happy to help you with your application.
If a dependent adult requires assistance in making their day-to-day personal decisions, they may need a guardian.
A guardian would have the authority and ability to make decisions for the dependent adult regarding their personal lives. The guardian would assist the dependent adult in making decisions regarding living and working arrangements, medical care, and other decisions affecting the dependent adult's personal life.
All decisions must be made taking into account the dependent adult's best interests. The need for making an application for a guardianship order is not necessary if a person signed a personal directive prior to becoming a dependent adult.
A personal directive may be necessary when your loved one becomes incapable of making personal decisions on his or her own. You would then become your loved one’s agent, acting on their behalf in certain matters. Learn more about how a personal directive works.
If a dependent adult requires assistance with managing their finances or property, they may need a trustee.
A trustee would have the authority and ability to manage the dependent adult's finances and property in such a way that it is in the dependent adult's best interest.
They would become responsible for investments, paying bills, managing bank accounts and all other matters relating to the dependent adult's estate. The need for making an application for a trusteeship order is not necessary if a person signed an enduring power of attorney prior to becoming a dependent adult.
An enduring power of attorney is often a good choice for persons who may become dependent adults, as it allows that person to continue to act on his/her own behalf up to a certain point or event. Then, the individual designated to step in by the power of attorney document would step in. Learn more about enduring power of attorney, its various forms and whether or not it makes sense in your situation.
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