Tutorship: protecting incapable people and their rights

  • November 9, 2022
  • The elderly
Un homme montre l'écran d'une tablette électronique à une personne âgée

When people can’t ensure their well-being or manage their property, the court may declare them incapable. Now tutorship is the only protection regime available for adults declared incapable.

On November 1, 2022, all existing curatorships became tutorships. Existing regimes for advising people of full age remain in effect, but new ones cannot be instituted.

What’s a tutor for?

To protect adults declared incapable, a tribunal may assign them a tutor or tutors. The tutor acts as the protected person’s representative. The tutor makes decisions for them, in their interest.

But the new law is clear: whenever possible, people under tutorship must participate in the decisions that concern them.

Does the person to protect have a protection mandate? This is the best way of having the person’s wishes respected. If the mandate is complete, the court can validate it and tutorship is not necessary. (Read: When a family member becomes incapable, what do I do?)

Customizing the tutorship

Now the court takes the incapable person’s strengths into account to adjust tutors’ roles. In so doing, it protects the rights of those under tutorship.

Before being declared incapable, a person must be assessed by a physician and a social worker. The court adapts the tutorship by basing its decisions on these assessments and the person’s situation.

1. It specifies the nature of the tutorship, in other words, if it will pertain to:

2. It can modulate the tutorship. If protected people’s level of autonomy permits, they can perform certain acts on their own, with the tutor’s help. The rights that can be maintained include the following:

3. It determines when the next psychosocial reassessments (between one year and five years) and medical reassessments (up to ten years) will take place. 

Then, depending on the results of the reassessments, the court could decide to modify or not to modify the role of the tutors.

Questions or problems?

To learn more about tutorship or the protection measures recognized by the Curateur public, see the Quebec.ca website.

Dissatisfied with the services received from the Curateur public? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman. Our services are confidential, free and there’s no complicated red tape.

Also see: Customized support: have your trusted persons recognized