Role of Paralegals in Navigating Guardianship Cases


Paralegals in Navigating Guardianship Cases

Navigating the complexities of guardianship cases can be challenging, but with the aid of a skilled paralegal, the process becomes more manageable and less overwhelming for those involved. When an adult loses the capacity to make decisions due to a disability or illness, it is often necessary to appoint a guardian to make personal decisions, or a trustee to make financial decisions, on their behalf.

If you are confronted with the reality of your loved one no longer having the ability to make personal and/or medical decisions AND they do not have a Personal Directive in place, then your next course of action is to apply to the Court for an Order for Guardianship. AzPerLegal Services Inc. has a solid understanding of the potential complexities of legal guardianship and is able to provide competent and efficient paralegal services required to obtain an Order for Guardianship.

Understanding Guardianship Needs

Guardianship is vital for adults who cannot make personal decisions due to a lack of capacity, as determined by a capacity assessment. This is particularly relevant for adults over 18 and minors approaching adulthood. A guardian, appointed by the Court, is authorized to make decisions regarding the adult’s healthcare, living arrangements, social activities, and more. Disagreement with an adult’s decisions does not constitute nor imply incapacity. Hence the requirement for a capacity assessment to be performed by the adult’s medical practitioner.

The Court’s Role and Decision-Making

The court plays a crucial role in determining the scope of the guardian’s decision-making authority and whether a review of guardianship is necessary. While guardians can make various non-financial decisions, they are not authorized to make any financial decisions on behalf of the adult. If financial support is required, that person must also apply for an Order for Trusteeship.

Exploring Alternatives to Guardianship

If the adult still maintains enough mental capacity to make personal and/or medical decisions, alternatives to guardianship should be considered. These include executing a Personal Directive, engaging in supported decision-making and/or co-decision-making.

The Process and Urgency in Guardianship Applications

Applying for guardianship by way of desk application typically takes about six months to nine months. A desk application means that the documents are completed and submitted to the Public Trustee’s Office for review who, in turn, submits the reviewed documents to the Court of King’s Bench for approval and the granting of an Order for Guardianship.  If you are in a position where time is of the essence, an application directly to the Court can be made for an Order for Guardianship. AzPerLegal Services Inc. is well skilled and knowledgeable with either course of action.

Cost Considerations

Various costs are associated with the guardianship process, including legal fees, capacity assessment charges, and court filing fees. In cases of financial hardship, applicants may seek assistance from the Government of Alberta.

Requirements for Becoming a Guardian

To become a guardian of an adult, one must be over the age of eighteen years, must consent to the role of guardianship and all it entails, be cognizant of the adult’s morals and reasonable wishes, have a stong relationship with the adult and be willing to be subjected to a background check to confirm their eligibility and suitability.

Paralegals’ Critical Role

In this complex landscape, paralegals play a crucial role. They assist in preparing and filing the necessary documents, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and providing support throughout the application process. Paralegals facilitate communication between all parties involved, including the Court and the Public Trustee’s Office, to ensure that the adult’s best interests are always at the forefront.

Guardianship require a careful and compassionate approach. With their specialized skills and knowledge, paralegals are invaluable in guiding clients through this process, ensuring that all legal and procedural requirements are met efficiently and effectively.

Why Choose AzPerLegal

Whether you are navigating the complexities of appointing a legal guardian or need expert guidance in managing guardianship responsibilities, Christine Herrington’s paralegal services in Calgary are a reliable and compassionate choice. By working with AzPerLegal, you are not just receiving assistance; you are gaining a partner who understands the intricacies of legal guardianship and the importance of a personal connection in every legal endeavour.