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RSNL1990 CHAPTER M-10

MENTALLY DISABLED PERSONS' ESTATES ACT

Amended:

1993 c53 s23; 1996 cR-10.1 s48; 2006 cM-9.1 s83; 2009 cP-46.1 s29; 2011 cA-4.01 s38

CHAPTER M-10

AN ACT RESPECTING THE APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS FOR THE CUSTODY AND
MANAGEMENT OF THE ESTATES OF MENTALLY DISABLED AND OTHER PERSONS AND
RESPECTING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THOSE ESTATES

Analysis


       
1.   Short title

       
2.   Definitions

       
3.   Committal of estate to guardian

       
4.   Appointment of new guardian

       
5.   Costs

       
6.   Powers of guardian

       
7.   Duties of guardian

       
8.   Administrative powers

       
9.   Powers of court respecting property

     
10.   Conferring authority on guardian

     
11.   Additional powers of guardian

     
12.   Execution of assurances, etc.

     
13.   Receipts by guardian

     
14.   Property of mentally disabled non-resident

     
15.   Transfer of money

     
16.   Temporary maintenance

     
17.   Declaration of incapacity

     
18.   Disposal of estate

     
19.   Discharge of guardian

     
20.   Notice to be sent to public trustee

     
21.   Information respecting persons referred to in s.20

     
22.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

   
22.1   Notice to be sent to public trustee

     
23.   Probate or administration

     
24.   Maintenance of dependants and preservation of property

     
25.   Public trustee not required to preserve where no funds available

     
26.   Application by public trustee to judge

     
27.   Public Trustee Act, 2009 applies

     
28.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
29.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
30.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
31.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
32.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
33.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
34.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
35.   Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

     
36.   Visiting privileges of public trustee


Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Mentally Disabled Persons' Estates Act.

RSN1970 c234 s1

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "court" means the Trial Division;

             (b)  "guardian" means a guardian to whom, under this Act, the custody and management of the estate of a mentally disabled person are committed;

             (c)  "hospital" means the Waterford Hospital , St. John's , and includes another hospital designated by the Minister of Health, with the consent of the authority operating the hospital, as a hospital for the purposes of the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act;

             (d)  "judge" means a judge of the Trial Division;

             (e)  "lease" includes a lease in which the lessee is given an option to purchase;

             (f)  "mentally disabled person" means a person

                      (i)  in whom there is such a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind, whether arising from inherent causes or induced by disease or injury, or

                     (ii)  who is suffering from a disorder of the mind,

requiring care, supervision and control for the protection of his or her property, whether or not he or she has been committed to the hospital under the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act;

             (g)  "public trustee" means the public trustee appointed under the Public Trustee Act, 2009;

             (h)  "superintendent of the hospital" means the person in charge of the hospital;

              (i)  "transfer" means the execution and delivery by a person of every necessary or suitable assurance for conveying, assigning, transferring, releasing or disposing of property or an interest in property to another person, together with the performance of all formalities required by law for the validity of the transfer, and includes the transfer of negotiable instruments by endorsement; and

              (j)  "trust" includes a trust implied and constructive, a trust where the trustee has some beneficial interest, and the powers and duties incident to the office of personal representative of a deceased person, and "trustee" has a corresponding meaning.

RSN1970 c234 s2; 1974 No57 s38(264(w)); 1986 c42 Sch A; 2006 cM-9.1 s83; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Committal of estate to guardian

        3. (1) The court or a judge may, on the application of a person having an interest in, having a claim against or wishing to make a payment to the estate of a mentally disabled person or of a person who has the custody of or who has responsibility for the care or treatment of a mentally disabled person, make an order appointing a guardian for the custody and management of the estate of that mentally disabled person and committing to the guardian the custody and management of that estate.

             (2)  An order made under subsection (1) takes effect immediately, unless the guardian is required, by the order, to give security, in which case the order takes effect upon the completion of the security.

RSN1970 c234 s3

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Appointment of new guardian

        4. The court or judge may, where good cause is shown, make an order appointing a new guardian, either in substitution for or in addition to a former or existing guardian.

RSN1970 c234 s4

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Costs

        5. The court or a judge may order the costs, charges and expenses of and incidental to proceedings under this Act, whether incurred in or out of court, to be paid

             (a)  by a party to the proceeding;

             (b)  out of the estate of the mentally disabled person or of the person alleged to be mentally disabled; or

             (c)  partly in 1 way and partly in another.

RSN1970 c234 s5

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Powers of guardian

        6. (1) A guardian

             (a)  has a right to, and shall, take into custody or take under control all real and personal property to which the mentally disabled person is entitled or of which he or she is possessed; and

             (b)  shall call in, collect and receive payment of debts owing to the mentally disabled person.

             (2)  The court or a judge may, to facilitate the administration of the estate of a mentally disabled person, by order

             (a)  vest the property of that person in the guardian; or

             (b)  appoint some person to transfer the property to the guardian or as the court directs.

RSN1970 c234 s6

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Duties of guardian

        7. (1) Unless the court or a judge otherwise orders, a guardian shall

             (a)  within 6 months after his or her appointment file with the court an inventory of the whole estate of the mentally disabled person, stating the income and profits of the estate and setting out that person's debts, credits and effects, so far as information respecting those matters has come to the knowledge of the guardian;

             (b)  if property belonging to the estate is discovered after the filing of the inventory referred to in paragraph (a), file with the court a true account of that property as it is discovered;

             (c)  verify by affidavit every inventory and account filed under paragraph (a) or (b), or have that inventory or account verified by the affidavit of some other person who is in a position to verify it; and

             (d)  file with the court security as approved by the court

                      (i)  for filing the necessary inventory,

                     (ii)  for accounting for the real and personal estate and the income derived from each of those types of estate at intervals as directed by the court, and

                    (iii)  upon an accounting under subparagraph (ii), for payment immediately into court of the balances in his or her hands after they have been ascertained, or otherwise as the court directs.

             (2)  A creditor or relative of a mentally disabled person may apply, not more than once in each year, to the court by application in chambers for an order that the guardian

             (a)  bring in and pass his or her accounts;

             (b)  file an inventory; and

             (c)  pay into court the balances in his or her hands, or otherwise as the court directs.

             (3)  A guardian may at any time voluntarily file his or her accounts with the court and, upon notice that the court directs, apply to the court by application in chambers for an order passing his or her accounts and for a further or other order or directions that the circumstances require.

RSN1970 c234 s7

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Administrative powers

        8. The powers conferred by this Act with respect to the management and administration of the estate of a mentally disabled person shall be exercisable, in the discretion of the court,

             (a)  for the maintenance or benefit of that person and of persons who are dependent upon him or her; or

             (b)  where it appears to the court to be expedient, in the management of the estate.

RSN1970 c234 s8

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Powers of court respecting property

        9. (1) Subject to the rights of secured creditors, the court may order that property of a mentally disabled person be dealt with as is considered most expedient for the purpose of raising, securing or repaying, with or without interest, money that is to be or has been applied to

             (a)  payment of the debts or engagements of the mentally disabled person;

             (b)  the discharge of an encumbrance on the property of the mentally disabled person;

             (c)  the payment of a debt or expenditure incurred for the maintenance of the mentally disabled person or for the maintenance of persons dependent upon him or her, or for his or her or their benefit;

             (d)  the payment of, or provision for, the expenses of the future maintenance of the mentally disabled person, or that of persons dependent upon him or her; or

             (e)  the improvement, security or advantage of the property of the mentally disabled person.

             (2)  In the case of a charge or mortgage for the expenses of future maintenance of a mentally disabled person, or of persons dependent upon him or her, the court may direct it to be payable

             (a)  contingently, if the interest charged is contingent or future, or upon the happening of the event if the interest is dependent on an event that must happen; and

             (b)  in a gross sum or in annual or other periodical sums, and at times and in a manner that is considered expedient.

RSN1970 c234 s9

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Conferring authority on guardian

      10. The court may, by order, on terms and conditions it considers just, authorize and direct a guardian, in respect of the estate of a mentally disabled person

             (a)  to sell property and accept mortgages for the purchase money;

             (b)  to exchange or partition property and give or receive money for equality of exchange or partition;

             (c)  to carry on the trade or business of the mentally disabled person;

             (d)  to give leases of property;

             (e)  to surrender a lease, with or without accepting a new lease, or accept a surrender of a lease;

             (f)  to surrender, transfer or otherwise dispose of onerous property, with or without consideration;

             (g)  to exercise a power or give a consent required for the exercise of a power vested in the mentally disabled person;

             (h)  to exercise a right or obligation to elect, belonging to or imposed upon the mentally disabled person; or

              (i)  to compromise and settle a debt.

RSN1970 c234 s10

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Additional powers of guardian

      11. A guardian may, in respect of the estate of a mentally disabled person and without obtaining the authority or direction of the court,

             (a)  make valid and binding leases of real property for a term not exceeding 3 years;

             (b)  invest money in securities in which trustees are authorized to invest funds under theTrustee Act;

             (c)  transfer property held in trust by the mentally disabled person, either solely or jointly with another, to the person beneficially entitled to it;

             (d)  give a consent to the transfer or assignment of a lease where that consent is required;

             (e)  perform a contract entered into by the mentally disabled person before his or her incapacity;

             (f)  draw, accept and endorse bills of exchange and promissory notes, endorse bonds, debentures, coupons and other negotiable instruments and securities and assign choses in action;

             (g)  give or receive a notice on behalf of the mentally disabled person; and

             (h)  take steps that he or she considers immediately necessary for the preservation of the assets of the estate of the mentally disabled person.

RSN1970 c234 s11

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Execution of assurances, etc.

      12. The guardian, or another person approved by the court, may, in the name and on behalf of the mentally disabled person, execute and do all assurances and things that are necessary to give effect to an order made under this Act.

RSN1970 c234 s12

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Receipts by guardian

      13. Where a portion of an estate that is under administration by a guardian is in the possession of another person, the guardian's acknowledgment of receipt

             (a)  of the portion of the estate; or

             (b)  of the documents or other evidence of title to the portion of the estate

is a sufficient discharge and release to that other person, without proof that, or inquiry whether, the person whose estate is being dealt with is or has been found or declared to be mentally disabled.

RSN1970 c234 s13

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Property of mentally disabled non-resident

      14. (1) Where property within the province stands in the name of or is vested in a person living out of the province, the court or a judge may, upon proof

             (a)  that the person has been declared or found to be mentally disabled; and

             (b)  that his or her property has been committed to a guardian or other person appointed to manage it,

order that the property within the province or a part of it be vested in the person appointed.

             (2)  Where, under this section, property has been vested in a person appointed to manage it, the court or a judge may

             (a)  upon the filing of a certified copy of an order of a foreign court or other body of competent jurisdiction terminating the guardianship or appointment; or

             (b)  upon other proof which the court may require,

order that the property or a part of the property be revested in the person formerly declared or found to be mentally disabled.

RSN1970 c234 s14

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Transfer of money

      15. Where there is money in court to the credit of a person who has been found or declared or alleged to be mentally disabled, and that person lives in the United Kingdom or in a part of Canada outside the province, the court or a judge, on production of an order of a court exercising jurisdiction in the place where that person lives authorizing another person to receive the money in court, may make an order for the payment of that money to the person so authorized.

RSN1970 c234 s15

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Temporary maintenance

      16. (1) Where it appears to the court or a judge

             (a)  that the mental disability of a person is in its nature temporary;

             (b)  that it is expedient to make temporary provision for his or her maintenance and that of persons dependent upon him or her; and

             (c)  that money is readily available,

the court or judge may, instead of appointing a guardian, by order allow out of the available money an amount which appears appropriate for the maintenance of the mentally disabled person and that of persons who are dependent upon him or her.

             (2)  The court or a judge shall by order direct payment of an amount under subsection (1) to a person it appoints to be applied for the purpose mentioned in that subsection.

             (3)  A person who receives money under an order made under this section shall account for it when and as the court or judge directs.

RSN1970 c234 s16

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Declaration of incapacity

      17. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court or a judge that a person through mental infirmity arising from disease, age, habitual drunkenness, the use of drugs or other cause is incapable of managing his or her affairs, the court or judge may declare that without making a declaration of mental disability.

             (2)  Where the court or a judge has under subsection (1) declared a person to be incapable of managing his or her affairs, the court or a judge may commit the custody and management of the estate of that person to a guardian, and, upon the commitment, this Act applies, with the necessary changes, to the same extent as if that person had been declared or found to be mentally disabled.

RSN1970 c234 s17

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Disposal of estate

      18. (1) Where it appears to the court or a judge

             (a)  that a person is through mental infirmity arising from disease, age, habitual drunkenness, the use of drugs or other cause incapable of managing his or her affairs; and

             (b)  that the value of his or her personal estate or money payable to him or her under a contract of insurance does not exceed the sum of $2,000,

the court or judge may, although there has been no declaration of mental disability, by order authorize and direct a person in possession or control of the estate or money to dispose of it in a manner and to an extent that the court or judge considers appropriate.

             (2)  A person given authority and direction by the court or judge under subsection (1) has and may exercise all the rights and powers with regard to the personal estate of the mentally infirm person or to money payable under a contract of insurance that the mentally infirm person would have or could exercise if the mentally infirm person was of full age and of sound and disposing mind.

             (3)  The court or a judge may order the costs of and incidental to an application under this section to be paid by the applicant or out of the estate or money dealt with under this section.

RSN1970 c234 s18

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Discharge of guardian

      19. The court or a judge may, on the application of the guardian or of the person of whose estate he or she is the guardian, order that the guardian be discharged and make other orders that the court or judge considers necessary for the revesting in that person of property which was vested in the guardian under this Act.

RSN1970 c234 s19

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Notice to be sent to public trustee

      20. (1) The superintendent of the hospital shall, in accordance with subsection (3), send to the public trustee, by hand or by registered mail, a notice in respect of every person who has been admitted to the hospital as an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act, and the notice shall set out

             (a)  the name, address and, where known, the age of that person;

             (b)  the date of admission of that person to the hospital;

             (c)  the names, known to the superintendent, of members of the immediate family and other close relatives of that person;

             (d)  information which the superintendent may have and which may help the public trustee in locating property owned or held by that person; and

             (e)  the name of a person known or believed by the superintendent to be the guardian of that person.

             (2)  Subsection (1) shall not apply in respect of a person who is excluded from that subsection by order of the Deputy Minister of Health or some other person designated by order of the Minister of Health generally or specially for the purpose, upon that deputy minister or designated person being satisfied that the circumstances applicable to that person do not warrant the application of that subsection to him or her, provided, however, that by a later order that deputy minister may direct that the person shall be subject to that subsection.

             (3)  A notice which is sent under subsection (1) shall be sent within 14 days after the date of admission of a person who is admitted to the hospital.

             (4)  The public trustee is the guardian of the estate of a person referred to in subsection (1) from the date on which he or she receives the notice sent to him or her under that subsection as if he or she had been appointed guardian under subsection 3(1), and the public trustee is the guardian of that estate until

             (a)  the court or a judge makes an order appointing another person to be the guardian or confirming the appointment of a person who had been appointed guardian before the public trustee received the notice; or

             (b)  he or she is discharged by the court or a judge under section 19.

             (5)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who is voluntarily a patient of the hospital.

             (6)  Where, while a patient of the hospital, a person who is voluntarily a patient of the hospital is admitted as an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act , the date of admission for purpose of this section is the date on which the first certificate of involuntary admission was completed and signed.

RSN1970 c234 s20; 1989 c12 s20; 2006 cM-9.1 s83; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Information respecting persons referred to in s.20

      21. (1) Where, under section 20, the public trustee becomes the guardian of the estate of a person referred to in subsection (1) of that section, the public trustee may, while he or she is guardian, make use of the services and facilities of a department of the government of the province for the purposes of obtaining information concerning that person, his or her relatives and property.

             (2)  Where requested by the public trustee to help him or her in obtaining the information referred to in subsection (1), a department to which that request is directed shall provide assistance and provide information that it can give and provide.

             (3)  The Deputy Minister of Health or other officer designated by the public trustee shall, upon the written request of the public trustee, make a full and thorough investigation as to the relatives of a person of whose estate the public trustee is the guardian under section 20 and as to that person's estate, whether in possession, in action, in reversion, in remainder or in prospect, and that deputy minister or other officer shall provide the public trustee with a written report of the results of that investigation.

             (4)  The superintendent of the hospital, or the person in charge of another institution for or having facilities for the care and treatment of patients suffering from mental and nervous diseases, shall, at the time of the admission of a patient suffering, or purported to be suffering, from a mental or nervous disease, obtain from persons accompanying that patient whatever information is available concerning that person's relatives and property, and that information shall be recorded in the records of the hospital or other institution.

RSN1970 c234 s21; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      22. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Notice to be sent to public trustee

   22.1 (1) A director appointed under the Adult Protection Act shall, in accordance with subsection 22(9) of that Act, notify the public trustee where a person has been declared to be an adult in need of protective intervention under that Act, and the notification shall contain

             (a)  the name, address and, where known, the age of that person;

             (b)  the date the person was declared to be an adult in need of protective intervention;

             (c)  the names, known to the director, of members of the immediate family and other close relatives of that person; and

             (d)  information which the director may possess that could assist the public trustee in locating property owned or held by that person.

             (2)  A notice which is sent under subsection (1) shall be sent within 14 days after the date the person was declared to be an adult in need of protective intervention.

             (3)  The public trustee is the guardian of the estate of a person referred to in subsection (1) from the date on which he or she receives the notice sent to him or her under that subsection as if he or she had been appointed guardian under subsection 3(1), and the public trustee is the guardian of that estate until

             (a)  the court or a judge makes an order appointing another person to be the guardian or confirming the appointment of a person who had been appointed guardian before the public trustee received the notice; or

             (b)  he or she is discharged by the court or a judge under section 19.

2011 cA-4.01 s38

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Probate or administration

      23. (1) Where, under subsection 20(1),

             (a)  the public trustee becomes the guardian of the estate of a person;

             (b)  that person dies leaving an estate not exceeding $1,500 in value; and

             (c)  an application for probate or other proof of title of the personal representative of the deceased person is not made within 1 month from the date that the public trustee notifies, in writing and by registered mail, the executor named in the will of the deceased person, or where there is no executor named, the next of kin known to the public trustee, of the deceased person that the person has died

probate or other proof of title of the personal representative of the deceased person may be dispensed with.

             (2)  The public trustee may pay, from the estate, the debts, funeral and testamentary expenses of the deceased person and other amounts lawfully payable before distribution of the estate and pay or distribute the balance to the persons appearing to the public trustee to be the persons beneficially entitled to the estate of the deceased person.

             (3)  In determining the persons to whom or the proportions in which the balance of the estate is to be paid or distributed under subsection (2), the public trustee may have regard to payments made or expenses incurred by a person for or on account of burial expenses of the deceased person, and a payment or distribution made in accordance with this section shall have the same effect in law as if it were made by the personal representative of the deceased person.

             (4)  Notice to the executor or next of kin under subsection (1) shall be considered to be served 7 days after the date on which that notice is deposited in the post office for transmission to the executor or next of kin.

RSN1970 c234 s23; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Maintenance of dependants and preservation of property

      24. The public trustee may, in an informal and summary manner, obtain the written permission of a judge in chambers to the expenditure, upon terms and conditions that the judge may prescribe, of money in the estate of a person referred to in subsection 20(1) of which he or she becomes the guardian under section 20 for

             (a)  the maintenance of persons dependent on that person; or

             (b)  the preservation of that person's property,

and the judge may give permission and that permission shall be valid and capable of complete implementation.

RSN1970 c234 s24; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Public trustee not required to preserve where no funds available

      25. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the public trustee, where under section 20 he or she acts as guardian of the estate of a person referred to in that section, to insure or otherwise provide for the preservation of that person's property where there are not available to him or her, in or from the estate, money which may be used for that purpose.

RSN1970 c234 s25; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Application by public trustee to judge

      26. Where the public trustee becomes the guardian of the estate of a person under section 20 or another provision of this Act, he or she may make an application that a guardian who is appointed under section 3 may make, but an application by the public trustee shall be made in chambers in the 1st instance, and the judge may direct that the matter shall be moved into court, and he or she may direct that an interested person, or, where there is a class of interested persons, 1 or more persons as representatives of that class, shall be notified of the application, and those persons are entitled to be heard.

RSN1970 c234 s26; 2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Public Trustee Act, 2009 applies

      27. The Public Trustee Act, 2009 shall apply in respect of an estate of which the public trustee becomes a guardian under this Act.

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      28. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      29. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      30. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      31. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      32. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      33. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      34. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29

      35. [Rep. by 2009 cP-46.1 s29]

2009 cP-46.1 s29

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Visiting privileges of public trustee

      36. The public trustee may, at any time he or she considers desirable, visit the hospital or another place for the purpose of interviewing a person of whose estate he or she is the guardian under section 20.

RSN1970 c234 s36; 2009 cP-46.1 s29