I had decided to be my own lawyer, which meant learning about all the paper work, making sure it was all filled out properly, and going to court. The court appearance was almost anti-climactic - the judge had been given all the paper work a week prior, so he called us up first, smiled, said, everything looks fine to me, I'll write you up the guardianship order and you can pick it up this afternoon. Wow! It cost us the court charges which was about $135 and my time.For some time now, I have been mulling over the idea of creating some sort of guardianship kit for parents of adult children with disabilities. My thinking being that it would be much like those Legal Will kits that you hear advertised on the TV and radio.
So, you might wonder why we chose this route. First,this way, there is no ambivalence about who his guardian is. Disagreements may arise around medical procedures; when and if he ever goes into a "group home" we will still have some input into his life; if we want to get him a passport; dealing with Revenue Canada; etc. But most importantly, as he does not understand implications of his actions, or anything to do with legal, financial, or other issues, we his parents, who know him better than anyone, figure that we are in the best position to make decisions on his behalf as we have his best interests at heart.
With that idea in mind (and Kathleen and her husband as willing 'guinea pigs', so to speak), we have proven that it can, indeed, be done. Not for $5,000 or $6,000 in legal fees and not as a long and complicated process (as so many claim) but as a relatively parent-friendly experience. Sure, Kathleen had a little help from her friends, but don't we all need that?
I have previously set out (and now updated) the process to be followed and the documents required for a guardianship application, the one change that has occurred since that post first being written is that Nova Scotia's new Civil Procedure Rules require only one court appearance (as opposed to the previous two appearances). Which should also make it significantly more parent-friendly.
So now that I've proven to myself that it can be done (with a bit of one-on-one coaching), it's time to get down to work on a package of precedent documents.
And although the project may take a while to complete, life being what it is (and I have yet to decide in what format and in what manner such a package will be made available ), rest assured, it most definitely is on my to-do list.
If I can find a way to make it workable, I will.