At some point in your life, you made need help making decisions for yourself. What happens if you have an accident and are in the hospital for some time? What happens if you have an illness that affects your memory or mental abilities?
Not being able to make decisions is called “lacking mental capacity” or “mental incapacity”. No one can make financial or personal decisions for you when you lose mental capacity unless:
- you have a valid legal document appointing an alternative decision-maker, or
- someone has a court order allowing them to make decisions for you.
While you have full mental capacity, you can prepare legal documents naming someone else to make decisions for you if you loose capacity. If you do not make these plans, Alberta’s Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act describes other decision-making options. Options range from having another person support the adult in making a decision to having another person take over the adult’s decision-making completely. The right choice depends on the adult’s capacity and the decisions made.
There are different tools for dealing with personal decisions and financial decisions. Learn more: