Everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, household maintenance, and managing finances can be challenging for our family members who are aging and/or vulnerable.
On November 21, 2022, the law to better protect vulnerable population came into force and effect. It was adopted on June 2, 2020, and it amends the Civil Code of Quebec, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Public Curator Act, as well as other provisions with respect to the protection of persons.
The new protection system protects the autonomy of vulnerable individuals and is accommodating to each person’s particular situation. The preferences, strengths, and limitations of these individuals are all taken into account. Furthermore, the law protects vulnerable individuals’ ability to exercise their civil rights to the greatest extent possible.
One of the law’s improvements is the simplification of protective supervision regimes. Only tutorship will subsist while curatorship and the advisor to the person of full age will no longer exist. Therefore, all curators will now become tutors and they will represent incapable persons of full age for the same acts that they had previously. The tutor will have the same authority of simple administration over the patrimony of the incapable person. Tutors also offer protection for incapacitated people.
The court needs to determine whether a representative is a tutor to the property (the tutor manages the incapable person’s property), or a tutor to the person (the tutor oversees the individual’s well-being), or both.
The timeline for the medical and psychosocial reassessments must also be determined by the court based on the individual’s particular situation. They also need to decide which acts the person can perform by themselves such as signing a lease, choosing their accommodations, managing their finances, and choosing the people they associate with.
A new non-judicial assistance measure (simplified assistance) will allow an individual who is living with a difficulty to receive assistance from 1-2 people of their choice. These people will help them make decisions and manage their patrimony. A person who wants to receive assistance can apply to the Public Curateur or an accredited lawyer or notary. This measure will enable assistants to fulfill their responsibilities more easily as it requires companies and professionals to formally recognize them as acting on the individual’s behalf.
To prevent abuse:
- Two family members have been notified of the person’s request for assistance
- The assistant must prepare an activity report
- A background check must be done on the assistant
- The option to terminate the measure anytime
- The assistant’s name must be entered in a public register
In order to prevent instituting a tutorship when it is not necessary, there is a new one-time protective measure. For a limited period of time, a person will be able to perform a specific act for an incapable person. The person will regain all their rights once the temporary representation ends.
The law also emphasizes that all decisions must be based on the incapable person’s preferences and input. The involvement of the individual is necessary in order to preserve their autonomy. Therefore, a relationship between the tutor and the incapable person must be maintained.