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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

What We Do

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee is responsible for protecting the interests of vulnerable people. It does so in the following ways:

For Children under the Age of 18

  • Holds funds for children under the age of 18;
  • Monitors the actions of executors and trustees managing property for children;
  • Manages children's interests in estates, lotteries, insurance policies and permanent impairment benefits;
  • Approves settlements for personal injury claims and fatal accident claims and manages the proceeds of those claims;
  • Approves legal fees for settlements of personal injury claims or fatal accident claims;
  • Consents to the sale, transfer or lease of real estate where children have an interest;
  • Acts as property guardian for permanent wards of the province.

For Persons who are not Capable of Managing their own Financial Affairs

The Public Guardian and Trustee can be appointed as property guardian in two different ways:

  1. A Certificate of Incompetence under The Mentally Disordered Persons Act.
    - A medical doctor issues a Certificate of Finding of Incompetence;
    - A Chief Psychiatrist issues a Certificate of Incompetence;
    - The Public Guardian and Trustee issues an Acknowledgement to act within one year after the date of the Certificate of Incompetence.
  2. A Court Order under The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act.
    - Under The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act, the court can appoint the Public Guardian and Trustee as property guardian, if no one else wants to act or a family is in dispute.

When the Public Guardian and Trustee acts as property guardian, the Office is responsible for managing all the financial affairs of the person and does some or all of the following:

  • ascertains the assets and debts of the person;
  • determines the monthly income and expenses of the person;
  • manages any personal property or real estate for the person;
  • places funds of the person in the common fund;
  • makes any claims to recover funds on behalf of the person and if necessary commences a legal action;
  • defends or settles claims against the person;
  • arranges for the preparation of income tax returns.

The Public Guardian and Trustee may also act as temporary property guardian if appointed by the court.

Where an adult is mentally incapable, the Public Guardian and Trustee may require the attorney under a power of attorney to provide an accounting.

The Public Guardian and Trustee may investigate an allegation that a vulnerable person is being subjected to financial abuse.

The Public Guardian and Trustee may require a financial institution to suspend the withdrawal or payment of funds from a person's account for up to 30 days, where the Public Guardian and Trustee has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a vulnerable adult and the Public Guardian and Trustee has received an allegation that the person is being subjected to financial abuse.

For Deceased Persons' Estates

Usually the family will administer the estate of a deceased person but sometimes there is no one to act as administrator or the family is in dispute. In these instances, the Public Guardian and Trustee can apply as Official Administrator.

If family members are disputing the validity of a Will, the Public Guardian and Trustee can be appointed as administrator pending the outcome of the litigation.

When the Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed Administrator, the Office is responsible for dealing with all the financial affairs of the deceased and does the following:

  • ascertains all the assets and liabilities of the deceased;
  • determines the beneficiaries of the deceased estate;
  • pays all income taxes owed by the deceased if there are sufficient funds;
  • pays all liabilities of the deceased if there are sufficient funds;
  • distributes the estate to the beneficiaries according to the Will or The Intestate Succession Act.

For Missing Persons

The Public Guardian and Trustee can hold funds for persons whose whereabouts are unknown and while it is holding those funds, it may do the following:

  • search for the missing person;
  • advertise in an attempt to locate the missing person;
  • hire an heir locator to attempt to locate the missing person;
  • after six years and the person still can not be found, pay the funds to the Crown.

This website provides information, not legal advice. For advice about your specific situation, please consult a lawyer.



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