New legal requirements for financial incapability assessments

On December 1, 2014, part 2.1 of the Adult Guardianship Act is coming into force. The updates provide new safeguards in the Certificate of Incapability process (under the Patients Property Act) for adults who are assessed as mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs and the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC becomes their statutory property guardian/committee of estate via a certificate issued by a health authority.

Note: These changes affect the certificate process only, not the court process for private committees under the Patients Property Act.

Changes outlined in the Act and Statutory Property Guardianship Regulation include:

  • information that must be given to adults prior to being assessed for the purposes of a Certificate of Incapability
  • a new test of incapability for financial decision making
  • assessments of incapability being comprised of both medical and functional components with new forms
  • formalized roles for qualified health-care providers to conduct the functional component of the assessment
  • access to second assessments and reassessments
  • revised responsibilities of health authority personnel responsible for deciding whether to issue certificates

There are a number of upcoming education opportunities for physicians and other allied health staff about the impact of these changes on their work. Dr. Martha Donnelly will be giving the following rounds in conjunction with contacts from health authorities and the Public Guardian and Trustee:


November 18, 2014

7:30 a.m.

Geriatric Medicine Rounds
Vancouver, BC
Reaching 30 sites in  BC

November 18, 2014

12 noon

Geriatric Psychiatry Rounds
Vancouver, BC
Reaching 20 sites in BC

December 2, 2014

8:00 a.m.

Regional Psychiatry Rounds
Vancouver Coastal Health

An online course and guide are also under development, which will be made available to physicians. Additional regional sessions are being planned in health authorities.