Earlier this week, reasons for judgement were released in the fascinating case of Dawes v. Dawes. The Petitioner, husband of the Respondent, sought Committeeship over her person and finances. A daughter opposed, on the basis of being appointed representative under a 2009 Representation Agreement.
The Respondent suffered from vascular dementia (and had mental health issues) and was incapable of managing herself and her finances. The daughter, however, held a different view, disagreeing with the diagnosis and instead attributing the problems largely to a poor marital relationship.
By 2010, the family felt that the Respondent had to be placed in a care facility, but the daughter disagreed. The daughter then sought to sever the joint title of her parents’ home (into a tenancy in common).
The Court reviewed the Representation Agreement Act and concluded that, if it determines a person is a “patient” under the Act, any Representation Agreement is terminated, subject to the Court’s discretion.
The Court held that the daughter’s plan to sever the title was inconsistent with the Respondent’s Estate plan before she became incapable, and terminated the Representation Agreement. The Court appointed the Petitioner husband and another child as the Co-Committees.
Under the new legislation, a Representation Agreement covers only health care issues. A Power of Attorney covers financial matters. In this case it appears that the daughter was not necessarily acting in her mother’s best interests, which likely caused the Court to terminate the Representation Agreement.
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