Adult guardianship law still in place

Nova Scotia’s adult guardianship law, the Incompetent Persons Act, is still in effect until December 28, 2017, after a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

The guardianship law allows the court to appoint a person to make decisions for someone who is not capable of making significant health, personal care and financial decisions on their own. In June 2016 parts of the Incompetent Persons Act were found by Nova Scotia's Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. At that time the Nova Scotia government was given one year to update the law. In its June 13th, 2017 decision, the Supreme Court granted the Province's request for an extension of the validity of the legislation until December 28, 2017.

All current guardianship orders are still valid until a new law is in place. Court applications for adult guardianship under the current Incompetent Persons Act can still be made.

The Department of Justice is planning to introduce legislation to replace the Incompetent Persons Act  in the fall session of the legislature.

More information about being a guardian for an adult who cannot make significant decisions on their own is available at

You'll find further plain language information about Nova Scotia's current adult guardianship law in 'Guardianship of adults', part of 'It's in your hands: legal information for seniors and their families',
Click here to download 'Guardianship of Adults' in pdf.

21 June 2017

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