All About Estates

Dr. Richard Shulman

Total 16 Posts Website

Dr. Shulman is a Geriatric Psychiatrist, and is the Service Medical Director for Seniors Mental Health Services at Trillium Health Partners (Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital and Queensway Health Centre). He is available for independent medical-legal capacity assessments. He is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.


The SDA and Incapacity to Manage Personal Care – Another Example of a Limitation In Legislation

A frequent clinical challenge for doctors caring for seniors in hospitals is assessing decision making capacity and discharge planning. The following question arises; “Doctor, is the patient ‘capable’ to return home?” The problem with this question is the doctor has no authority in determining the answer. As per Section 45…

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The HCCA and Presumption of Capacity to Consent to Treatment; Principled but Flawed

Capacity to make treatment decisions in the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA)[i] refers to an intact ability to understand information that is relevant to making a decision to a proposed intervention and equally important the ability to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or a lack of decision….

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Schizophrenia in Late Life and Impact on Decision-Making Capacity

Schizophrenia in adults is the most common illness causing psychosis (a loss of contact with reality, a lack of ability to tell what is real from what is not real in some way). Schizophrenia generally commences in late adolescence or less commonly after age 40 referred to as late onset…

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Capacity Assessments and Biases to Beware of

Capacity assessments regarding capacity to manage property, testamentary capacity or capacity to appoint a power of attorney for property (POA), whether conducted contemporaneously or retrospectively, rely upon whatever materials/information that is provided to an assessor to review. Materials may include relevant medical records, previous wills and POA documents, interview of…

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Appointing a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property to Family vs. Statutory Guardianship; which is truly better?

Most seniors appoint a continuing power of attorney for property (CPOAP) for the sole purpose of not wanting the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (PG&T) to assume statutory guardianship of property under the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) or Mental Health Act (MHA) should the person become incapable. The majority appoint…

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The Psychology of Decision Making by Attorneys for Personal Care – What You Won’t Learn in the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA)

In a nutshell, the duty of Attorneys for Personal Care under the SDA is to act as a substitute decision-maker (SDM) for proposed healthcare interventions if the person is incapable of making that decision, and in doing so, to make decisions in the person’s best interests and in keeping with prior…

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The Ten D’s of Geriatric Psychiatry

In my consulting work, I have provided independent medical/legal assessments of seniors regarding capacity to sign powers of attorney, capacity to manage property and personal care, capacity to marry, capacity to provide instructions, capacity to provide evidence and both retrospective and contemporaneous assessments of testamentary capacity and capacity to provide…

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Can a Drunk Clearly Consent?

By now many are familiar with the story reported in the National Post on March 2, 2017 by Ashley Csanady and the subsequent public outrage and calls for appeal in the Nova Scotia acquittal of a case of alleged sexual assault of a young woman intoxicated in the back of…

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Capacity Issues – who are you going to call?

Capacity to grant and revoke a power of attorney (POA) for property and personal care and incapacity to manage property and personal care is defined by legislation in Ontario by the Substitute Decisions Act. However testamentary capacity (capacity to make a will) is not defined by provincial legislation. Assessors from the…

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POA for Property: A Marriage Sometimes Not Made in Heaven!

In my ALLABOUTESTATES blogs, I have been writing about unanticipated consequences of appointing a power of attorney (POA) for property as per the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act[i] (SDA). Despite the apparent benefits for seniors to have a POA for property, nonetheless unanticipated problems include; Mistaken assumptions by both grantors and…

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