Manitoba

Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba

Mentally Incompetent Adults

Appointment of The Public Guardian and Trustee

The Mental Health Act states that The Public Guardian and Trustee can be appointed as Committee for a person who has been found incapable of managing his or her property and personal care. The person is said to be mentally incompetent. The Public Guardian and Trustee is only appointed Committee as a last resort, in situations where a mentally incompetent adult needs help, but has no family, friends or a private trustee who can act on his or her behalf. The usual steps are:

  1. A person is examined by a physician, who determines that the patient is incapable of managing his or her affairs and signs a certificate stating this.
  2. The physician's certificate and a social history, which is usually written by a social worker, is sent to the director of Psychiatric Services for the provincial government.
  3. If the director agrees the person needs The Public Guardian and Trustee, he will give written notice of his intention to issue an Order of Committeeship to the person, his or her proxy (if any) and the person's nearest relative.
  4. Once these people have received notice, they have seven days to advise the director, in writing, of any objections they have to the order. They can meet with the director to discuss their objections.
  5. After considering the objections, the director makes a final decision on the order. If issued, this order automatically appoints The Public Guardian and Trustee as Committee of that person's care and property.
  6. Once an Order of Committeeship is received by The Public Guardian and Trustee, the staff take responsibility for the client's personal and financial affairs. The staff sends a letter to the regional director of health for the area in which the person lives, asking for a community mental health worker or other appropriate person to be assigned to provide day-to-day supervision for the client.
  7. There is no end date for an Order of Committeeship. It continues until the incapable person dies, is declared to be capable of managing his or her property and personal care, or another person is appointed as Committee in place of The Public Guardian and Trustee.

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