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Seeking committeeship for the well-being of a loved one

One of the most difficult things in life is watching an elderly parent lose his or her mental faculties. As parents get older, they may be in the difficult and dangerous position of being unable to care for themselves or manage their own affairs. In such cases, British Columbia residents may have the heavy burden of seeking committeeship over their parents.

A committee is a trusted individual whom the court appoints to handle the medical, financial or personal matters of someone who is mentally incapable of managing them alone. It is almost always a difficult decision because it means terminating the rights of the incapacitated person. However, someone who is still mentally alert may nominate someone ahead of time to serve as a committee should the need arise.

It is possible that a loved one is unable to attend to financial and legal needs but is still fit to manage personal care, such as bathing and cooking. In this case, a committee of estate is appropriate. If the loved one is not capable of taking care of his or her medical, hygienic or personal needs, the court may appoint a committee of person. A parent may need one or both kinds of committee at some point.

Someone who believes a loved one needs the help of a committee must apply to the British Columbia courts for the appointment. This is a complex process involving the confirmation of the mental status of the loved one. Because of the delicate and challenging nature of committeeship, many find it is wise to have the advocacy of a legal professional throughout the process.

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