At my law office in the Kanata-Stittsville area of Ottawa, I frequently meet with individuals who are acting as the court-appointed guardian of property for an incapable person. Two questions often come up: (1) what is a ‘passing of accounts’?; and, (2) how does the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) get involved?
To set the stage, I first explain that the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) governs the appointment of substitute decision-makers which includes attorneys (acting under a power of attorney) and guardians. The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) is the government office that is responsible for ensuring a guardian of property acts in compliance with the SDA.
I go on to say that when a guardian of property is appointed, the guardian is required to have the guardian’s accounts periodically reviewed by the court. This is known as a ‘passing of accounts’. As part of the passing of accounts process, the OPGT must be provided with a copy of the accounts.
When a passing has begun (after the court application is issued and has been served on the OPGT), an OPGT lawyer will review the guardian’s accounts. The OPGT will either indicate that there are no objections or will respond with questions or request additional information or documents. The OPGT may also challenge actions taken by the guardian. In our experience, it is rare to have ’no objections’ initially.
However, in most cases objections can be cleared up by providing requested information, answering questions or making adjustments as requested by the OPGT. Once the OPGT is satisfied and the OPGT withdraws all objections, generally the judge will then sign the order approving the accounts.
In my next blogpost, I will offer some tips to guardians of property to help them be fully prepared for a passing of accounts.
Are you acting as a guardian of property and want to make sure you are doing the job properly? Call 613.836.9915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to meet with me. We will review your rights and responsibilities as a guardian of property to make sure the job goes as smoothly as possible.
Reproduction of this blog is permitted if the author is credited. If you have questions or if you would like more information, please call us at 613 836-9915. This blog is not intended to be legal advice but contains general information. Please consult a lawyer or other professional to determine how the information in this blog might apply to you.
Blog posts pre-dated December 1, 2015 were originally published under Neff Law Office Professional Corporation.