I am grateful to Jan Goddard and Yasmin Vinograd for inviting me to be a panelist at the Annotated Guardianship Application program on March 6, 2024. They obviously put a lot of thought and care into choosing interesting topics and great speakers. Each time I participate in the program, I end up learning new things from the other speakers and panelists:

Meredith MacLennan offered three tips for registering guardianship orders on title. Guardianships sometimes arise in situations where the vulnerable person is already being financially exploited. As a guardianship lawyer, I have seen unfortunate situations where vulnerable adults have signed paperwork that is manifestly against their best interests at someone else’s behest. Even with a guardianship order in place, there is nothing stopping a wrongdoer from manipulating an incapable person into signing documents to take out a mortgage or transfer title. Registering the guardianship order on title gives notice to anyone seeking to lend or purchase the home that the owner has a substitute decision maker. However, I learned yesterday that from a conveyancing perspective, this is not as easy as it sounds. Meredith’s top tip was to ask the court for a stand-alone order to register on title because the standard Judgment appending a management plan will not be accepted for registration.

Arthur Fish and Alexander Procope spoke about how to help litigants find an off-ramp from the destructive road of guardianship litigation through alternative dispute resolution. I especially valued Arthur Fish’s insights about delving into the family history of high-conflict/low resolution families to uncover the trauma that is truly driving the family conflict.

Various speakers answered some tough questions from the audience, like whether “joint and several” guardianship appointments are possible (Lisa Filgiano clarified they are not). Doreen So shared an example from her own practice where she came up with a creative partial guardianship solution when a Florida property could not be transferred utilizing an Ontario power of attorney.

The program was chock full of practical advice on how to do a guardianship application from the first meeting with the client through to closing your file. The annotated precedents have been expanded over the years to include a retainer letter, a Notice of Application, an affidavit, a management plan, a guardianship plan, a closing letter, and a Judgment. The program is still available for viewing through the LSO, and I highly recommend it.


Angela Casey


Nothing contained in this post constitutes legal advice or establishes a solicitor-client relationship. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights or legal obligations, you should consult a lawyer.