Manitoba

Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba

Vulnerable Adults

Case Management

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any of the following subject areas to take you to the most frequently asked questions about:

General Case Management:

Are there any charges for the services of The Public Guardian and Trustee?

Yes. Under The Public Guardian and Trustee Act, The Public Guardian and Trustee may collect fees from the client's assets for its services. The amount of these fees is set by provincial law and they are similar to those charged by private trust companies.

Two types of fees are charged. Fixed-percentage fees apply to receipts and disbursements, and asset management. In addition, specific fees apply for preparing income tax returns, legal services and the services of investigators. The Office of The Public Guardian and Trustee will explain and discuss fees with the families or representatives of clients. For more information, see our Fee Schedule.

What happens on the death of a client of The Public Guardian and Trustee?

Upon the death of a client, The Public Guardian and Trustee has the authority to continue managing the client's property until The Public Guardian and Trustee is notified the Court of Queen's Bench has appointed an executor or administrator. During that time, The Public Guardian and Trustee may pay any debts, including funeral expenses, and may collect any outstanding assets. The Public Guardian and Trustee may also begin or continue legal proceedings on behalf of the estate.

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Asset Management:

Does The Public Guardian and Trustee collect money payable to clients?

Yes. The Public Guardian and Trustee collects wages, pensions, disability payments, Workers Compensation payments, investment income and legacies. As substitute decision maker for property, The Public Guardian and Trustee is the only person who can cash clients' cheques and give valid receipts to the payer.

What happens to clients' assets?

If The Public Guardian and Trustee is substitute decision maker for the client's property, the following apply:

Individual bank accounts

Depending on the client's abilities, a bank account may or may not be maintained. If the client has some ability to manage funds, all efforts are made to give the client as much control and autonomy as possible. An account may be held in community, monitored by the adult services administrator and have money deposited regularly. However, if the client is incapable of managing his or her own funds, all funds are held in the client's account with The Public Guardian and Trustee.

Joint bank account with another person

The account is frozen and may be closed, with funds being placed in the client's Public Guardian and Trustee account once an agreement concerning the ownership of the funds is reached.

Cash

It is credited to the client's account with The Public Guardian and Trustee.

Furniture and other personal belongings

Clients are entitled to have furnishings and other non-perishable belongings appropriate for their living arrangements. If a client has belongings that are not needed, they may be sold at public auction and the proceeds credited to the client's account. Alternatively, a trusted friend or relative may be asked to store the belongings for the client.

If personal property remains in the possession of the client or the client's family members, The Public Guardian and Trustee will not be responsible for it.

Can clients receive and manage their assets while The Public Guardian and Trustee controls them?

Yes. The effects of mental illness vary and clients may be able to do some things but not others. As the 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 minimize its role.

Can a client's family take over and use his or her assets?

No. Clients' assets belong to them, and the fact that clients may be unable to use their assets does not transfer their right of ownership to others.

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Expense and Debt Management:

Who meets a client's financial obligations?

To the extent of a client's ability to pay, these are met by The Public Guardian and Trustee from the client's funds. If funds are available, The Public Guardian and Trustee pays the client's bills and provides additional money for extra comforts.

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Personal Case Management:

Does The Public Guardian and Trustee actually provide personal care to its clients?

No. The Public Guardian and Trustee delegates the day-to-day responsibility for personal care of its clients to Manitoba Family Services and Housing. A community services worker or other appropriate person is assigned to oversee the personal care of the client.

In some cases, when the client lives in a developmental centre, the personal care will be managed by the centre, without the involvement of the province.

In all cases, The Public Guardian and Trustee maintains the ultimate responsibility for making decisions that fall within the scope of its appointment.

How does The Public Guardian and Trustee provide informed consent for a client's medical treatment?

When asked to provide consent for a client's medical treatment, the adult services administrator gives careful consideration to the following:

  • Is the client capable of giving informed consent?
  • Has the client made a valid Health Care Directive and appointed a proxy?
  • What is in the client's best interests?
  • What are the wishes of family?
  • What are the risks versus benefits of treatment or no treatment?

In some cases, the adult services administrator consults with the office's legal staff and/or management in making the decision. Each time a request is received for medical consent, the case is examined individually, and consents are not always given.

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Investment Management:

Will a client's surplus funds be invested?

In most cases, cash held on behalf of a client is deposited in The Public Guardian and Trustee's common fund, where it earns interest and is completely fluid. The common fund is invested in government bonds of varying maturities. The Public Guardian and Trustee receives advice from its External Investment Committee about bond purchases for its common fund.

Is interest paid on client accounts?

Yes, interest is paid to each client's account monthly. In some circumstances, especially with large estates, The Public Guardian and Trustee purchases securities such as government bonds or guaranteed investment certificates for individual clients.

Does the Public Guardian and Trustee follow policy for investments?

The Public Guardian and Trustee has an investment policy, which can be viewed using the following link: Investment Policy.

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Tax Management:

Does The Public Guardian and Trustee file clients' income tax returns?

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

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