AGTA Adult Guardian and Trustee

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship (formerly known as Dependent Adults)

The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA) is provincial legislation. It provides a means of obtaining a Court Order that allows an applicant the power to assist another adult, make decisions on their behalf, and control many aspects of their life.

When is an AGTA Order necessary?

An Order under the AGTA is required to assist in caring for adults that are unable to care for themselves. The most common situations where an Order is obtained are as follows. When a handicapped child reaches the age of 18, the parents no longer have any legal authority to act on behalf of the child. They must apply to the Court for an Order under the AGTA. Another common situation is when an adult becomes disabled or incapacitated by injury or disease. Finally, Orders are also obtained on behalf of many seniors who have lost the ability to properly care for themselves. In most cases, a physician will ask family members to apply for an Order.

How am I appointed?

An appointment is obtained by application to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a Court Order. The application must include a detailed report called a Capacity Assessment Report (CAR) completed by a physician, psychologist, or other person who has been granted a certificate allowing them to prepare CARs. The application must also include extensive personal information about the represented adult, their family and the applicant. Details of the plan for financial care or personal care, as the case may be, are also required. All documents must be reviewed by the a representative of the Public Guardian’s Office and they look after notifying all relevant parties, visiting with the proposed represented adult and performing reference checks and credit checks on the proposed Guardian and Trustee. Eventually, the Courts issue an Order appointing you as Guardian, Trustee or both.

What is a Guardian

A person appointed as guardian has power over the personal affairs of the represented adult. This includes the responsibility to make health care decisions and provide advice and directions to healthcare providers. It also includes the ability to make decisions about personal living arrangements such as place of residence. It may include several other powers including the power to decide whether the represented adult works, attends educational training, or socializes and the form of recreational activities. 

What is a Trustee?

A person appointed as trustee has control over the represented adult’s finances. This person will look after all of the property of the represented adult including land, money and personal belongings. The trustee has a duty to account to the Court or any interested party and so must keep detailed records of all transactions. Where the only income of the represented adult is minimal, such as Old Age Security or AISH, and there are minimal assets, a person can look after the finances, as an informal trustee without a Court Order.

Most times, the same person is appointed as both guardian and trustee.

When do I Report Again?

In the role as trustee, the applicant must present their accounts to the Court as ordered by the Court. This can range from annually to every several years. In certain cases, the Court may even waive an accounting. However, any interested party including the Court can ask the Trustee to submit their accounts at any time. The Court will then review the accounts and issue a Court Order approving the accounts.

The Court will also stipulate the time frame for a review of the appointment of Guardian or Trustee. Under the AGTA, the Court has the power to make an indefinite appointment. In this case, the only time a person must reapply is when there is a drastic change in circumstances or some other interested party asks the Court for a review.

On the recovery of the adult, the guardian or trustee must apply to the Court to be discharged from their duties. 

AGTA & Represented Adults - How Can We Help?

Galbraith Law can assist you with all the stages of anAGTA represented adult matter. We can assist you in preparing the application forms, obtaining the report from the physician and preparing all of the Court documents. This includes working with you to develop your plan and preparing all the necessary documents. We will submit the documents to the necessary party and then respond to any of their questions or feedback. After you have been appointed we will assist you with preparing any required application to the Court for the Examination and Approval of accounts. When a review of the Order is necessary we will prepare the paperwork and deal with the appropriate parties on your behalf.

For further information call one of our friendly staff at 780.483.6111 or toll free at 866.483.6111 or email us at info@galbraith.ab.ca