A Committee application may be necessary when a person by reason of mental infirmity arising from disease, age or otherwise, becomes incapable of managing his or her own affairs and the requisite estate planning documents are not already in place ( i.e. enduring power of attorney and representation agreement).
The person who has lost capability is referred to as the “patient”, and the person who is appointed to handle the patient’s affairs is called the “Committee” (pronounced “Comet-ee”).
An appointment allows the Committee to manage the affairs of the patient as if they had a power of attorney. This can be especially important if the incapable person owns property that needs to be sold, a portfolio of funds that need investment but can even be required to accomplish the day to day banking for the patient. Even doing an address change with the Canada Pension Plan cannot be accomplished without the appointment of a Committee
In order to obtain an Order appointing a Committee, there must be a Court application. Two doctors must swear affidavits to the effect that the patient no longer has capacity and that there is very little likelihood that they will improve in their condition or be able to manage their own affairs in the future.
The person who wishes to be appointed the Committee must also swear an affidavit called an “Affidavit of Kindred and Fortune” explaining the circumstances of their relationship with the patient, their proposed plan, the assets of the patient as well as any debts and liabilities.
All interested parties must be notified of the proposed Court application. Although it is often fairly easy to obtain consents from the required family members for the application, there are also many situations where family members do not agree on the intended application and difficulties can arise.
As with any application where attending in Court is necessary, obtaining an Order for the appointment of a Committee is expensive and, unfortunately, could often have been avoided with the appropriate estate planning documents at a fraction of the cost.
To learn more about the estate planning documents that you need in order to reduce complications and anxiety for your loved ones where a Committeeship appointment is needed, or if you have found yourself in a situation where you may need a Committeeship Order please contact our office.
Author: Crystal Hansen
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about the estate planning documents that you need in order to reduce complications and anxiety for your loved ones where a Committeeship appointment is needed, or if you have found yourself in a situation where you may need a Committeeship Order, please contact our office at (250)448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the area of estate planning at the following:
Una Gabie: email@example.com
Jennette Vopicka: firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle (Dani) Brito: email@example.com