Manitoba

Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba

Mentally Incompetent Adults

Case Management

The personal and financial affairs of each client are administered individually to serve his or her best interests. Factors such as the client's wishes, needs, values and beliefs, condition and prognosis, and the value and nature of assets and income are all considered.

Every client has an adult services administrator assigned to manage his or her affairs. This adult services administrator co-ordinates all aspects of case management. The Public Guardian and Trustee staff includes lawyers and financial specialists in a variety of areas such as investments and tax. They support the adult services administrators in managing each client's case.

A guiding principle for an adult services administrator is to act in the best interests of each client. They try, to the greatest extent possible, to make the same decisions the client would make if he or she were capable. Relatives of a client whose property is administered by The Public Guardian and Trustee are encouraged to keep in touch with the adult services administrator to improve understanding of the client's circumstances and problems.

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The main areas of case management are:

Asset Management

The Public Guardian and Trustee administers all client assets including cash, investments, real property, household goods, vehicles, etc. The Public Guardian and Trustee also helps identify any sources of income to which a client is entitled, and applies for these benefits on his or her behalf. These may include pensions, social assistance or other government entitlements. The Public Guardian and Trustee's role is to provide services and protect the interests of clients; it does not provide any funds to clients.

The effects of mental illness and diseases associated with old age vary. A person may be able to manage some things but not others. The Public Guardian and Trustee tries to manage a client's assets so the client's independence and abilities are best respected. As long as a client's assets are secure, The Public Guardian and Trustee will co-operate and minimize its role.

The Public Guardian and Trustee's policy is to involve clients and their families in managing major assets and sentimental items. The extent of this depends on a client's ability to understand; the interest and availability of next-of-kin; and business circumstances. There may also be circumstances where there is such disagreement within a family, that The Public Trustee must make a decision without family input.

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Expense and Debt Management

To the extent of a client's ability to pay, his or her financial obligations are met by The Public Guardian and Trustee from the client's funds. For clients living in the community, this means paying rent or mortgage, utilities, taxes, groceries, etc. For clients living in personal care homes, hospitals or other institutions, The Public Guardian and Trustee pays the residential charges and provides additional money for extra comforts, within their budgets.

If a client is missing funds because of past mismanagement or financial abuse, The Public Guardian and Trustee investigates the circumstances. If indicated, the office may start legal proceedings on the client's behalf to try and recover these funds.

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Personal Case Management

The Public Guardian and Trustee's duties include making decisions about the personal care of clients. In some cases, this means deciding where and with whom a client will live, and providing informed consent to medical treatment. Each client's case is managed individually and decisions are made based on his or her best interests.

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Investment Management

The Office of The Public Guardian and Trustee employs staff specially trained in accounting and investments. They work closely with adult services administrators. They ensure the best possible decisions are made to preserve clients' assets and to maximize the benefits of their assets.

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Tax Management

Clients' tax returns are filed every year by accounting staff in The Public Guardian and Trustee's office. Credits are placed in clients' accounts.

If clients have not filed returns for years, The Public Guardian and Trustee's staff will do it. The information on properly filed income tax returns is used in some cases to determine the amounts of certain benefits to which clients are entitled. It also determines the rates of residential charges in long-term care facilities.

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