In British Columbia, a committee (“caw-mi-tay”) is a person appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person who is not capable of managing his or her affairs. A person may be incapable from birth or has become so due to illness, age, mental incapacity or another reason. Appointing a Committee is a serious legal matter, as it removes a person’s right to make his or her own decisions.
There are specific legal criteria that must be met to establish a Committeeship. Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators act on behalf of families in the Tri-Cities who seek to apply for, or to challenge, a Committeeship. Our legal office has been applying for Committeeships and contesting Committeeship and institutional commitment for many years, and know the complexities involved in these kinds of legal proceedings.
Applying For Committeeship
In British Columbia, there are two types of Committee:
- Committee of the person makes personal and medical decisions, including healthcare and place of residence.
- Committee of the estate makes financial and legal decisions.
For a person to become a committee on behalf of a close friend or family member, he or she must apply to the British Columbia Supreme Court. Among the paperwork you must provide in your application is testimony from two doctors stating that your loved one is indeed incapable.
Challenging A Committeeship Application
Committeeship applications are not always clear-cut. Sometimes, there is no evidence of incapacity, or, the evidence could go either way. Unfortunately, in some cases, people will attempt to establish a Committeeship to serve their purposes. These are cases of elder abuse or abuse of the authority granted to act on someone’s behalf.
Even when elder abuse is not suspected or intended, and the person applying to be committee has noble intentions, the mental state of the individual in question may not rise to the level of warranting a committee. In either case, we at Laughlin & Company can act on behalf of the person who is challenging the appointment, so his or her voice is heard and respected.
To learn more about Committeeship and adult guardianship applications from our Port Coquitlam lawyers, schedule an appointment by calling the firm at 604-239-0800 or contacting us online. Our clients come from throughout the Tri-Cities municipalities of Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Coquitlam, and throughout the Lower Mainland.