"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Absolute *Must Read*

The good people at PLAN have just come out with a new bulletin entitled "Making Sound Decisions". And YOU, dear reader, absolutely, MUST read it.

No, I don't think I'm usually this pushy but in this case, I believe I must be.

The PLAN Bulletin does an excellent job of covering the waterfront on many of the issues we've been discussing recently, such as guardianship, supported decision-making and powers of attorney, particularly in the context of the usefulness of RDSPs for the disability community.

So, just in case you're not quite ready to take a peek, let me whet your appetite:
  • A Delicate Balancing Act ~ looks at the transfer of autonomy and control from parents to their children over time and how we all need support when it comes to making important decisions in our lives
  • From Coast to Coast: A Patchwork of Rules ~ discusses the different 'tools' available across the country to "support" a person in their decision-making (including a Cross Country Scan which clearly shows in chart form what is available in each province)
  • Maria's Dilemma: Choosing A Trustee ~ sets out the dilemma faced (and decisions made) by one mother as she set up discretionary trusts in her Will for her three children
  • Power of Attorney for Property ~ explains what, exactly, powers of attorney are, the criteria for setting one up and the authorities and duties of the attorney appointed, among other issues
  • The Representation Agreement: A Model for Canada ~ explains what Representation Agreements (unfortunately currently only available in British Columbia and the Yukon) are and how to use them
  • Making Sound Decisions with Support - sets out one family's positive experience with a Representation Agreement
  • Guardianship: A Last Resort ~ explains the concept of guardianship as well as when and where it might be needed and sets out three myths about guardianship (one being that parents automatically continue as legal guardians when their sons and daughters with intellectual impairments become adults) and PLAN's reservations on the issue of guardianship
  • Setting A New Direction ~ takes a look at the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [which, by the way, Canada has still not ratified]
  • Managing A RDSP: Time for Guardianship Reform? ~ looks at both the provincial and federal legislative changes which could be made so that guardianship would no longer be required in order for a parent to open a RDSP for a disabled adult who is not considered legally competent; and
  • The RDSP: A Great Opportunity Just Out of Reach ~ sets out the thinking of one family who chose to forgo the financial opportunities inherent in a RDSP if it meant obtaining guardianship of their adult son
So thanks again to Jack and Doug and all the good people at PLAN who worked at putting this Bulletin together. It should prove invaluable for many families to have all this information available in one place.

Bravo Zulu, guys.

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