Adult Guardianship (15:V)

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In BC, adult guardianship (called ‘committeeship’) is currently governed by two acts: the Patients Property Act, [PPA] and the Adult Guardianship Act, [AGA]. The PPA allows a judge to appoint a committee (pronounced caw-mi-TEE, with emphasis on the end of the word). Part 2.1 of the AGA contains a statutory process by which the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) becomes the ‘Statutory Property Guardian’. All committees, whether an individual or the PGT, are legally authorized to make decisions for the patient.

The two different processes for creating a committeeship are quite different and are governed by different legislation. It is important to identify which type of committeeship is present or being sought. In the rest of this section, a committeeship created under the PPA is referred to as a ‘court order committeeship’ while one created under the AGA is referred to as a ‘statutory process committeeship’. These are not technical or legal phrases but used solely for clarity. Details for the two types are produced below.

An individual subject to committeeship, or the possibility of committeeship, may present as extremely upset, angry or confused. To best assist this individual, it is important to understand the gravity of the situation for the individual, and why the individual may be feeling this way. Keep in mind that the effect of a committeeship is that the adult loses their decision-making rights.

Adults may consult CLAS and the Public Guardian and Trustee for more information on committeeship. The Public Guardian and Trustee produces a number of helpful publications on committeeships. The resources can be found at It is also advisable to contact an Estate and Guardianship Litigation Lawyer, possibly through the Law Society’s Lawyer Referral Service (604-687-3221).

A. Patients Property Act: Court-Ordered Committeeship

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on June 21, 2019.
© Copyright 2020, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.

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