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Financial incapability and Adult Guardianship Act


What is the Certificate of Incapability Process?

Health authorities can issue certificates of incapability under the Adult Guardianship Act, for adults who they find to be incapable of managing finances. The adult cannot have an appointed substitute decision maker for managing finances or have a substitute decision maker that the health authority believes is not complying with their duties. 

​​Issuing a certificate of incapability is a significant decision because it results in a loss of independence and autonomy for the adult, as the Public Guardian and Trustee becomes Committee of Estate/Statutory Property Guardian to manage the adult’s finances.

The Statutory Property Guardianship Regulation, requires that an assessment include both a medical and functional component. It sets out which health care providers, in addition to physicians, are qualified to conduct the functional component of the assessment to determine incapability for managing financial affairs. Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) are among several disciplines that may be qualified, provided they meet any standards, limits, and conditions set by their respective regulatory colleges.​

Which RPNs can conduct a functional assessment?

Any RPN that has met the BCCNM Scope of Practice for RPNs: Standards, Limits and Conditions (section 4.2.3), subject to their employer’s policies, may conduct the functional component of the assessment to determine incapability for managing financial affairs.

Can RPNs issue certificates of incapability?

A health authority may designate specific people as having the authority to issue certificates of incapability on behalf of the health authority; this person can be an RPN. Speak to your employer to learn who is designated within your agency.

Where can I find more information?

 Need help or advice?

​​​For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us:

  • Email
  • 604.742.6200 x8803 (Metro Vancouver)
  • Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 x8803 (within Canada only)

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

With great respect, we acknowledge that BCCNM’s office is located on the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking peoples - Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.​