Some Important Definitions
This list of definitions will help you understand some of the unfamiliar legal or technical terms.
Assessors are persons who are authorized to conduct an assessment of a person's mental capacity
for certain purposes such as appointing a guardian for property without going through the court
process. They have appropriate professional backgrounds and have successfully completed a
training course in capacity assessment. They are independent of the government.
Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document in which a person gives
someone else the legal authority to make decisions about their finances. . The person who is
named as the attorney does not have to be a lawyer. The power of attorney is called “continuing”
because it can be used after the person who gave it is no long er mentally capable to make the
financial decisions themselves. Some people use the word “durable” which means the same as
Guardian of Property
A guardian of property is someone who is appointed by the Public Guardian and Trustee or the
court to look after an incapable person’s property. Both the guardian and the incapable person
must be at least 18 years old. A guardian is different from an attorney; an attorney is chosen by
the individual, before becoming incapable, to act on their behalf, while a guardian is appointed
after incapacity. A guardian can be a statutory guardian or a guardian appointed by the court.
Guardian of the Person
A Court may appoint a guardian of the person to make decisions on behalf of an incapable
person in some or all areas of personal care, usually because there is no power of attorney for
personal care. The guardian must be at least 16 years old.
Under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, incapacity refers to mental incapacity. It means that
the person is unable to understand information that is relevant to making a decision or is unable
to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision.
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