Manitoba

Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba

Vulnerable Adults

Case Management

The administration of affairs for vulnerable people is similar to that for mentally incompetent adults. The Public Guardian and Trustee can be appointed as substitute decision maker for property only, personal care only, or both property and personal care. Whatever the appointment, The Public Guardian and Trustee considers the client's wishes, needs, values and beliefs, condition and prognosis, and the value and nature of assets and income.

Every client has an adult services administrator assigned to administer his or her affairs. This adult services administrator co-ordinates all aspects of case management. The Public Guardian and Trustee also employs 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 adult services administrator is to act in the best interests of each client. Relatives of clients are encouraged to keep in touch with their adult services administrator to help the adult services administrator better understand the client's circumstances and needs.

The main areas of case management are:

Asset Management

To manage the assets of vulnerable adults, The Public Guardian and Trustee must be appointed as substitute decision maker for property. If so, the following applies:

The Public Guardian and Trustee administers all assets owned by a client including cash, investments, real property, household goods, vehicles, etc. The Public Guardian and Trustee also identifies any sources of income to which a client is entitled, and applies for these benefits on his or her behalf. These may include income 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 developmental disabilities vary, so clients may be able to do some things but not others. As substitute decision maker, The Public Guardian and Trustee tries to manage a client's assets to respect the client's independence and abilities. 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. This is subject to a client's ability to understand, the interest and availability of next-of-kin, and business circumstances.

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Expense and Debt Management

To manage the expenses or debts of vulnerable adults, The Public Guardian and Trustee must be appointed substitute decision maker for property. If so, the following applies:

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 long-term care facilities, The Public Guardian and Trustee ensures payment of the residential charges and provides additional money for their 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 and may start legal proceedings on the client's behalf to try and recover these funds.

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Personal Case Management

To manage a vulnerable adult's personal affairs, The Public Guardian and Trustee must be appointed as substitute decision maker for personal care. If so, the following applies:

The Public Guardian and Trustee will manage the personal care of clients. In some cases this involves deciding where and with whom a client will live, and providing informed consent for medical treatment. As with financial decisions, each client's case is managed individually and decisions are made based on his or her best interests.

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Investment Management

To manage a vulnerable adult's investments, The Public Guardian and Trustee must be appointed as substitute decision maker for property. If so, the following applies:

The Office of The Public Guardian and Trustee employs staff specially trained in accounting and investments. They work closely with adult services administrators to 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

To manage a vulnerable adult's taxes, The Public Guardian and Trustee must be appointed as substitute decision maker for property. If so, the following applies:

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 a client, or his or her previous substitute decision maker, has neglected to file a return for previous 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 set the amounts of certain benefits to which clients are entitled and the rates of residential charges in long-term care facilities.

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