Public Trustee and Public Guardian
The role of the Office of the Public Trustee and Public Guardian is set out in the Public Trustee Act and the Mental Health Act. A significant part of the mandate involves acting as Trustee and/or Guardian for "incompetent persons". An "incompetent person" is defined as a person who, in the opinion of two physicians, is incapable of managing and understanding his/or her financial or personal affairs.
The Public Trustee and Public Guardian, through appointment, on behalf of a client, assist individuals who are unable to look after their financial affairs or personal affairs and who have no friends or relatives who are able to undertake that responsibility. The Public Trustee may also become an estate administrator or Power of Attorney for an individual under separate legislation. It is an office of last resort.
Activities of the Office of the Public Trustee and Guardian include:
• Responding to the needs of PEI residents who are deemed medically incapable of making decisions of a financial or personal nature in accordance with the Public Trustee Act, the Mental Health Act, the Consent to Treatment Act or numerous other laws;
• Acting for incompetent persons including children in Court Ordered Settlement proceedings;
• Monitoring 3rd party applications for Committee and Guardianship;
• Providing consultation and direction to families, associates and service providers in the assessment and follow up planning required to meet the needs of residents of P.E.I. in need of Committee and Guardianship;
• Making treatment decisions on behalf of individuals in accordance with the Mental Health Act and Consent to Treatment and Health Care Directives Act;
• Developing educational materials and facilitating information sessions for professionals, community groups and the public on all matters in relation to the office as well as acting as a consultant to other departments and community-based agents;
• Attending court on behalf of clients and potential clients, heirs of deceased estates and as Official Guardian in all litigation and other legal matters affecting clients, estates, or incompetent persons; and
• Liquidating assets and managing estates of clients in the clients best interest.
Programs and Services