Law to better protect
Find out more about the changes that will have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and their loved ones.
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A person is incapable when they are unable to take care of themselves or manage their property.
There can be many causes of incapacity: mental illness, degenerative disease, stroke, intellectual deficit, traumatic brain injury, or impairment due to old age. A physical disability generally does not result in incapacity. For a person to be declared incapable, their mental faculties must be impaired. While some incapable people can manage fine on their own, others need protection.
A protector makes sure the person is kept safe and sound. They ensure their living conditions are adequate (housing, food, clothing, care, recreation, safety, etc.) and can also help manage their assets (bank accounts, bill payments, income tax returns, etc.). Just as each situation is unique, so is each protector, but one thing is certain: Being there for your loved one is the best way to protect them.
First and foremost, be there for your loved one and don’t hesitate to ask others for help.
Friends and family step in to protect the incapable person without the need for formal measures.
When a couple is married or in a civil union, each spouse must assume responsibility for the daily needs of the family (food, health care, housing, furniture, electricity, heating, etc.) when the other spouse can no longer express their wishes. This power of representation is automatic and is not set out in a formal document.
Important! The domestic mandate does not apply to a common-law spouse.
A family member or loved one can also manage the property of an incapable person in cases determined in advance, for example, by administering the capital, indemnities, benefits, etc.
A protection mandate is an official document in which you designate one or several people to look after you or your property in the event you become incapable; it also specifies the scope of their powers. Regardless of how it was prepared (by you, or by a notary or a lawyer), the protection mandate must be homologated by the court to come into force.
This is the least intrusive version of protective supervision. It is suitable for a person with a mild intellectual deficit or a temporary incapacity due to an illness or an accident. The person is capable of taking care of themselves but sometimes needs advice or assistance to make certain decisions. They retain their autonomy and continue to exercise their civil rights.
Tutorship applies to a person whose incapacity is partial or temporary. It may apply to the property or the person, or both. The tutor is appointed by the court.
A person under tutorship may perform certain acts alone (e.g., decide how to use their salary) or with the help of their tutor. For other acts, the tutor represents them.
Curatorship applies to a person whose incapacity to take care of themselves and to administer their property is total and permanent.
The curator to a person of full age is appointed by the court. The curator represents the person in all civil acts and may be appointed to the person, the property, or both.