I know some parents have been considering the advisability of bringing such an application on their own, without hiring a lawyer. They would be well-advised to study this Rule (as well as the other Rules it references) as it will govern their appearance in court. One nice change under the Rules is that
In Part I, we talked about why you might want to apply for guardianship of your family member with a disability. We will now look at the process a person would go through to make such an application.
The Incompetent Persons Act requires proof of two things to have a guardian appointed; namely
- that the adult has a mental "infirmity" and
- that as a result of this "infirmity", the adult is "incapable of managing their affairs".
- An application to the court seeking a date for the actual guardianshp hearing.
- The actual court hearing in which the court will decide whether or not to grant a guardianship order.
The adult who is thought to be in need of a guardian
Clearly, these medical practitioners must have the necessary knowledge of the adult to be able to make these statements. Generally, this might be the adult's family physician and another doctor who specializes in the area of the adult's disability. Obviously, if the adult regularly sees a specialist or there is one already knowledgable as to their condition (ie. neurologist, psychiatrist), this would be the appropriate doctor to choose. Other times this may mean searching for another family doctor who is either familiar with the adult and their condition or is willing to step forward, meet with the adult, review medical records (as necessary) and swear the required affidavit.
As a note of caution, remember that, unlike a psychiatrist, a psychologist is not a "medical practioiner" as required under the Act and thus cannot swear the required affidavit, no matter how familiar they may be with the adult and their conditon.
These affidavits, together with other documents, are sent to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court with a request for a hearing. It is at the hearing of this first application that the date will be set for the second hearing.