Westcoast Wills and Probate LawyerVancouver | North Vancouver | Burnaby | Squamish
Westcoast WillsVancouver | North Vancouver | Burnaby | Squamish
Our committeeship lawyers can apply to court on your behalf for an appointment of committee of estate. This is most often needed when a person becomes incapacitated and they have not already given a power of attorney over their finances to someone else. In this case, all bank accounts that are held only in their name are effectively frozen.
If your loved one is in this situation, someone may have to be appointed as their committee of person and estate. But be forewarned, it is not a simple process:
- Getting appointed as private committee usually takes 2 – 4 months to achieve.
- The process usually costs between $5,000 to $10,000 in total, including taxes, government fees, and doctor’s fees.
- After our lawyers apply for the committeeship, the court may put restrictions on the committee’s access to the patient’s money or require that a bond be placed by the prospective committee to guard against abuse.
- Every year after being appointed by the Court, the committee may be forced to pay a fee and render their accounts to the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC for their review.
How to Avoid the Committee of Estate Process
If this all sounds like too much and your loved one is already too sick to make a power of attorney, you can let the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC (PGT) take over. The major drawbacks of this option are cost and loss of control. The PGT charges a fee for both starting to act and and an annual fee for continuing to act as committee for a person. Once the PGT starts to act, the family loses control of financial decisions.
If you are still able to sign a power of attorney, the decision is easy. Westcoast Wills can help you set up a power of attorney in advance to avoid the need for a committee of estate order. Still need convincing? See the top 5 reasons to get a power of attorney here.
In all, applying for a committeeship is a tedious process that is easily avoided with advance planning. If your loved one has already lost the requisite capacity to sign a power of attorney or a representation agreement, the experienced lawyers at Westcoast Wills would be pleased to help you obtain an order for committee of person and estate, answering all of your questions along the way.