All About Estates

When to Serve the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee has multiple functions and involvement in a diverse range of legal proceedings.  Most estate practitioners are familiar with the requirements that the Public Guardian and Trustee be served with applications to appoint guardians of property and person and for court approval of settlements involving a person under a disability. However,  there are a number of other statutory requirements that necessitate service on the Public Guardian and Trustee that estate practitioners may be less familar with.

At the Six-Minute Estates Lawyer this year, Dana De Sante from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, presented a paper on the cy-près doctrine, section 13 of the Charities Accounting Act, and the requirements of service on the Public Guardian and Trustee.  The paper included a comprehensive chart outlining proceedings in which service to the Public Guardian and Trustee are required including:

  • Dependant relief applications made on behalf of a person in an institution and/or when a person residing in an institution has an interest in an estate affected by a dependant relief claim, Succession Law Reform Act
  • Passing of accounts where there is no next-of-kin or where property is vested for any religious, educational, charitable or other public purpose, Estates Act
  • Proceedings commenced against a corporation after its dissolution, Business Corporation Act and Corporations Act
  • Proceedings to recover property which became Crown property by intestacy or forfeiture, Escheats Act

The chart and paper are a helpful reference tool and a reminder of the multiple roles of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Enjoy your weekend,

Diane Vieira

About Diane Vieira
Diane has practiced in the area of estate, trust and capacity litigation since she was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. Diane obtained her law degree from Queen’s University after completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. She also recently received the Certificate in Elder Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, and the Toronto Lawyers Association. Diane has chaired various continuing legal education programs regarding estate, trust and capacity matters. She can be reached at