The Public Trustee is appointed as trustee of an individual's estate when:
- a doctor decides that a person is incapable of handling their own affairs; and/or
- sufficient evidence is presented to the court that the person cannot manage their own financial affairs, and there would be substantial benefit from such an appointment; and/or
- where there is no agreed or trusted family member within the Northwest Territories willing to be a private trustee.
The Public Trustee will continue to look after these affairs until a judge determines that the person is well enough to look after his/her own affairs. The money and assets would then be returned as quickly as possible.
Generally, when an order of trusteeship is made, an order for guardianship is also made. Trusteeship concerns financial decision making while guardianship generally includes decisions non-financial in nature.
Typically, outside of Yellowknife, the Public Trustee may rely upon the Government Service Officers - especially in cases where a person is seeking assistance in an aboriginal language.
If you have any questions or concerns about guardianship, please contact the Public Guardian's office.