Advising clients in and around Vancouver regarding Certificates of Incapability
Under the Adult Guardianship Act, all adults in BC have the right to make decisions for themselves if they are capable and to be free from intrusive interference with their affairs. However, there can come a time in an adult’s life when they are, in fact, not able to make their own decisions regarding health care, physical needs, or legal and financial affairs. If health care providers determine that you or your loved one is no longer capable of making their own decisions, they may seek the issuance of a Certificate of Incapability. If a Certificate is obtained, the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (PGT) may be appointed committee over their affairs while they are incapable. These Certificates may be issued without a court hearing and, therefore, patients can be vulnerable and choose to dispute the Certificate..
If you or a loved one has been certified as incapable or think someone may be incapable and want to know yours and their rights and options, please do not hesitate to call the McLarty Wolf law firm to discuss your situation today.
Process of Certification under the Adult Guardianship Act
Certificates of Incapacity may not simply be issued at random or at first suspicion of mental incapacity. Instead, medical professionals and the PGT must follow a specific process set out by law as follows:
- If the PGT receives a referral indicating that a person may be incapable they will investigate and determine what steps are needed
- If further steps are needed, the PGT or health care provider can request an assessment of the person’s capacity
- If after an assessment is conducted the doctor determines the adult is incapable, the health authority can issue a certificate of incapability in consultation with the Public Guardian and Trustee
If the Health Authority decides to issue a Certificate of Incapability, the adult and the family will be notified of the decision.
Once notified, however, the adult and/or family has the right to request a reassessment and, if needed, review of the decision by the courts. The process for these requests is complex and has specific time limits, however, so you should always have the assistance of a lawyer with thorough knowledge of these laws.
Contact an experienced Certificate of Incapability lawyer in Vancouver for guidance
Anyone who has been certified as incapable or their family members should discuss their legal rights with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. Please call 604-688-9542 to speak to an experienced lawyer at the BC law firm of McLarty Wolf as soon as possible.