The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (the
"PGT") plays many roles in administering and overseeing
matters for individuals who lack the ability to do so. For example,
the PGT may act as the Committee of the Estate, managing the
financial affairs of someone who is unable to do so himself. The
PGT also can manage the Estate of a missing person, review the
accounts of private Committees, act as a Representative under the
Representation Agreement Act, administer an Estate, and
act as litigation guardian in any number of types of claims.
In contested Committeeship applications, where family members
are unable to agree on which of them will act as the Committee,
lawyers will often suggest a neutral third party be considered to
act as the Committee of the Estate. Trust companies and the PGT are
two of the commonly suggested third parties. Many clients
mistakenly believe that the PGT would be the better choice, because
it will be "free". This is not correct.
The PGT plays a critical role in the lives of many British
Columbians, particulary those who have no family members able to
assist. In order to carry out its mandate, the PGT does in fact
charge fees, payable by the Estate of the affected person. The fees
are set by the British Columbia government, through the Public Guardian and Trustee Fees
Regulation. The Regulation was updated, effective August
1, 2014. The amounts payable to the PGT differ in some cases from
fees described in other legislation, such as the Trustee
Act. While these fees do not fund the whole of the PGT's
operations, they do contribute to the cost of the operations (note
that the PGT does not operate at a profit).
For a fuller explanation of the many roles of the PGT, check out
their excellent website here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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It is not uncommon for parents to provide monetary gifts to their adult children. Parents may wish to help their child with a down payment on a property, or help pay out their child's existing mortgage.
On March 31, 2014, BC's new Wills, Estates and Succession Act1 ("WESA") will come into force. WESA introduces new protections for beneficiaries of estates that are in danger of being disputed or deemed ineffective by a court.
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