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What happens when a loved one can no longer take care of themselves?

Every day presents us with a litany of choices: Where we live, what we buy, what we have for dinner. But what if a loved one becomes incapacitated because of old age or an accident? What if that loved one is unable to, not only take care of his or her financial affairs, but also of their personal care and wellbeing?

Rule 57 of the Uniform High Court Rules provides that:

  • An interested party may approach the High Court for the appointment of a “curator ad litem”;

  • The curator ad litem is tasked with investigating the incapacitated person’s (referred to in the Rules as “the patient”) medical condition, financial position, and personal circumstances;

  • The curator ad litem must provide a report to the Court about whether or not the person in question is able to manage his/her financial and/or personal affairs and the suitability of the prospective curator bonis and/or curator ad personam.

The curator ad litem is usually an admitted advocate who practices as such within the jurisdiction of the Court. A curator bonis is appointed to administer a person’s estate and financial affairs; and a curator ad personam is appointed to make decisions on behalf of the patient regarding personal issues such as medical care and residency.

Once the Court is satisfied that a person is unable to manage his/her affairs a curator bonis and curator ad personam is appointed upon recommendation of the curator ad litem. In most cases a dedicated family member, usually the person who applied for the appointment of the curator ad litem, is appointed as both curator ad personam and curator ad litem.

It goes without saying that Rule 57 provides for the protection of the most vulnerable in society. These vulnerable people’s best interest stands to be protected at all costs. Being appointed as a curator of any kind requires trust, discipline and dedication. At Maybery Inc. we strive to provide impartial, practical legal advice aimed at proving you and your loved ones with peace of mind when you are faced with the harsh realities of life. We are also able to assist with all your other estate planning requirements.


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