Services for Mentally Incompetent Adults


The Public Trustee of Nova Scotia provides several types of services for an adult who is considered to be mentally incompetent under the law. It has the authority to act as a guardian or trustee to look after the adult’s financial estate and property under these pieces of legislation:

  • guardian of the estate under the Incompetent Persons Act
  • trustee of the estate using a Section 13 Notice under the Adult Protection Act
  • trustee of the estate using a Section 59 Notice under the Hospitals Act
  • trustee of the estate using a Section 8A Notice under the Public Trustee Act. To use a Section 8A Notice, several things must be in place:
    • someone makes a decision to place the adult in a continuing-care home or to accept home care services for them
    • the person who makes the decision has the authority to do so because they are either a delegate who has been named in a Personal Directive, or someone who is named as a substitute decision maker under the Personal Directives Act
  • attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney. For this to happen, the adult must appoint the Public Trustee as their attorney while they are still considered to be mentally competent under the law

The Public Trustee can choose to accept or refuse to act as a guardian, trustee, or attorney.