Under the Mental Health Act, if a doctor decides that a person is incapable of handling their own affairs, the Public Trustee is automatically appointed as a trustee.
Note: Staff travel to communities where no resident staff exist.
Under the Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, a judge can appoint the Public Trustee as trustee is (a) sufficient evidence is presented to the court that the person cannot manage their own financial affairs and (b) there would be a substantial benefit from such an appointment. Once appointed, the Public Trustee is responsible for protecting and managing the person's financial affairs.
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 outside of Yellowknife, the Public Trustee may rely upon the Government Service Officers, especially in cases where a unilingual person is seeking service.
If you have any questions or concerns about guardianship, please contact the Public Guardian's office.