Public Guardianship Application in Ontario

Public guardians are appointed when an adult who doesn’t have a power of attorney for personal care or property (POA) requires an ongoing advocate for their interests.

What is a Public Guardianship?

When adults need assistance managing health care or financial matters and have no one to help, the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) can step in. A court or the OPGT itself can arrange a guardianship application for Ontario adults who lack the mental capacity to care for themselves.

Public guardians are substitute decision makers. Like a POA, they make decisions in place of someone who is unable to carry on from day to day without assistance. Unlike a POA, they are made after an adult is unable to express their own personal preferences for health care services, medical treatment, housing, and personal care.

How It Works


Book Your Appointment

Click on ‘Get Started’ button to submit a request to meet with the Lawyer. Our customer care team will reach out to you within minutes to book your appointment. 


Submit Your Documents

On the day of your appointment, our lawyer will verify your identification and walk you through the intake process where they confirm your contact information.


Draft Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will ask you a series of questions regarding your executor, beneficiaries, and make a note of your wishes before drafting a Will accordingly.


Execute Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will cross-check each page of the Will with you and if you are happy with the draft, the Will is signed and executed by the lawyer on the same day.

Documents We Need

We offer a number of affordable options to give you peace of mind in knowing that your family will be taken care of the way you want. Bring the following for your online video conference (anywhere in Ontario) or in-person meeting at our Greater Toronto Area law offices:

Axess Law will ask you for two pieces of ID. Proving your identity is obligatory to prevent fraud. You may use either two pieces of primary ID or one primary and one secondary ID. These include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Canadian passport
  • Ontario photo card
  • Canadian citizenship card with photo
  • PR card with photo
Our lawyers will ask to see records of any existing debts that you may have. These would include debts such as car loans, mortgages, or student loans.
When drafting a cohabitation agreement, bring us your personal statement of assets. This would include documents such as stocks, investments, or real estate deeds.
When booking an appointment, our team will make a note of your contact information. This would include your name, email address, and telephone number.

What is Guardianship Planning?

Do you need guardianship if you have power of attorney (POA)? No, because a POA is created while an adult is capable of making decisions, but wants assistance managing day-to-day affairs like paying bills or is planning ahead for a day when they could be incapacitated. POA appointments are based on choice. Guardians are court appointed when someone who is mentally incapable doesn’t have a POA to represent their interests and can’t express their personal preferences.

What are The 4 Steps to Assess Mental Capacity?

If you’re worried someone has become mentally incapable, you can:

  1. Ask doctors or independent capacity assessors with mental health training to assist you.
  2. Schedule a mental capacity assessment.
  3. If a doctor or assessor issues a certificate of incapacity, complete guardianship application forms.
  4. Go to court or request statutory guardianship through the OPGT.

Axess Law has experienced family lawyers near you who can draft forms to arrange guardianship through the OPGT. We can help organize the documents you need to become a legal guardian yourself or work with the OPGT to appoint a representative for a friend or loved one.

Protecting the Human Rights of Loved Ones

Without reasonable grounds to believe otherwise, all adults are presumed to be capable.
They have a right to dignity
Enjoy personal autonomy
Can exercise freedom of choice
Deserve to be treated with respect

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Convenient Appointments

Axess Law gives you the choice of booking an online or in-person appointment. Our lawyers are available 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. We can meet in person, by phone, email, or via a remote video call. In addition to these, there are 5 Axess Law offices located across the Greater Toronto Area – all with onsite parking or easily accessible by public transit.

Some FAQs

Axess Law’s Ontario family lawyers prepare legal documents to apply for statutory guardianship for adults who need assistance from a public guardian. We complete forms and discuss your responsibilities in speaking to a court or the OPGT to advocate for an adult who is mentally incapable of managing their own personal or business affairs.

We advise concerned friends or family members if you suspect a loved one is being unduly influenced, bullied, or coerced to sign documents they don’t comprehend. We counsel next-of-kin on filing complaints if you feel the OPGT or a guardian is mishandling financial decisions or assets. You leave our offices with the legal documents needed to make an application for legal guardianship under the Substitute Decisions Act. Our low-cost flat fees are affordable and we can deliver documents to you by courier or using secure, online document signing technologies.

Adults who are “mentally incapable” have trouble grasping information. They may hear what you are saying, but not be able to make sense of it. Personality changes caused by serious head injuries make it difficult for formerly competent adults to manage. Sudden trouble focusing, vision problems, anxiety, or aggression are confusing and frustrating.

Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can develop at any age. Like head injuries, brain diseases place adults at risk of being financially exploited or becoming disoriented in once-familiar surroundings like their own home.

Adults with complex developmental disabilities may need someone to manage every aspect of their lives. When their parents or siblings are gone, they may be left without anyone to safeguard their interests.

Most capacity assessors charge hourly rates. If your guardianship application is successful, their fee and other legal costs can be charged to the person you are assisting. The OPGT sometimes helps with costs for low-income clients.

Applying to replace the OPGT as statutory guardian costs $382 plus tax, payable to the OPGT. If you apply to a court for guardianship, the OPGT will charge $250 to review your application and give its opinion to the court and other parties’ lawyers.

When the OPGT receives an application for a capacity assessment, they consult with the person being assessed. Courts also require applicants to inform the person and explain what a capacity assessment is. Adults have a right to participate in the court application and are represented by a lawyer. Adults found incapable can apply for an independent review.

Guardianship can be ended if:

  • The Ontario Consent and Capacity Board overturns the finding.
  • A court terminates it.
  • A capacity assessor or doctor at a psychiatric facility determines they are no longer incapable.
  • Upon their death.
  • When a guardian resigns, becomes incapable or dies.