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Help and protection is available to adults who are unable to make decisions regarding their care needs.
Nunavut’s Guardianship and Trusteeship Act allows the Nunavut Court of Justice to choose a person to make decisions on behalf of adults who have become dependent on others to look after their daily needs.
The person named as the guardian can be either Nunavut’s Adult Services Specialist or a close friend or family member of the dependent adult.
A Guardianship Order is specific to the needs of the dependent adult.
Appointing a Guardian
Anyone can refer a person to the guardianship program.
If you believe someone you know cannot take care of themselves and needs someone to make decisions on their behalf, you can contact the Public Guardian to talk about your concerns.
A fully qualified professional will assess whether an adult needs a guardian.
If an adult needs a guardian, the Adult Services Specialist will recommend to the Nunavut Court of Justice who is named a private guardian.
If a friend or family member applies to be a private guardian, the Adult Services Specialist will make sure the person applying meets the criteria as defined in Section 2(5) of the Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.
People applying to be a private guardian will need to:
- Fill out a Guardian Consent form.
- Make a Statutory Declaration about their relationship with the dependent adult for the year prior to making the application to be the person’s guardian.
Once a guardian has been identified, the Nunavut Court of Justice will hold a court hearing to discuss guardianship options.
People applying to be private guardians may be asked to join the court hearing by telephone.
At the hearing, a judge will sign a Guardianship Order that will name the guardian, state the length of the Order, and give a date for the Order to be reviewed in court.
The Order will also list the specific authorities of the guardian, and the responsibilities that the guardian must fulfill.
If responsibilities are not fulfilled by a private guardian, another guardian may be appointed by the court.
Role of a Guardian
A guardian is expected to assist the dependent adult to make decisions in areas such as:
- Health care.
- Legal matters.
- Personal care.