David H. Dunsmuir, Licensed Professional Corporation - serving the legal needs of the Fredericton Ormocto area of NB. New Brunswick's finest legal cousel for Family law, Real Estate dealings, Civil Litigation and a wide variety of other areas. Check out our web page about Value-Based billing! Click here to contact David H. Dunsmuir, serving Fredericton New Brunswick's legal needs, and providing advice and counsel in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Elder Law, Family Law, Immigration, Real Estate, Wills and Estates.
David Dunsmuir has been practicing law since 1992, and specializes in business law, elder law, civil litigation, family law, immigration, wills and estates, power of attorney, personal injury law, and real estate law. David H Dunsmuir, Fredericton's leading barrister and solciitor, attorney at law. Value-based billing allows us to provide you with an easy, affordable and calculable way to take care of your legal needs. It enables you to have the best lawey available in the Fredericton area, and know in advance what you can expect to pay for standard legal services. If you are in fredericton new brunswick and engaged in any kind of civil litigation, David H. Dunsmuir should be your first choice in NB attorneys, barristers or solicitors.
Visit David H Dunsmuir Licenced Professional Corporation, serving Fredericton NB in the areas of Civil Litigation, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Immigration Law
David H. Dunsmuir provides expert advice in the area of Business Law, as well as expert advice in Family Law and Civil Litigation
For Civil Litigation Law, David H. Dunsmuir, Licenced Professional Corporation, is the best available resource for you!
Elder Law is a complex and delicate field. Why trust yourself to anyone else? David H. Dunsmuir is Fredericton's expert in all areas of Elder Law.
David H. Dunsmuir is Fredericton New Brunswick's best resource for Family Law, whether you're dealing with divorce, custody, adoption or any other subject related to Family Law.
Are you trying to immigrate to Canada? If you're immigrating to Canada, David H. Dunsmuir provides excellent immigration advice and legal services.
If you're buying or selling your home, business or other real estate, David H. Dunsmuir is an expert in all legal aspects affecting realty. When it comes to Real Estate law in Fredericton NB, David H. Dunsmuir Licensed Professional Corporation is who you need to consult.
There is no more delicate a time than when a loved one passes. For all your needs regarding wills, probate and estate law, David H. Dunsmuir is the legal advisor for you. Whether you're drafting your own will, or require help executing or understanding the will of a friend or family member, David will provide exceptional legal advice in the areas of Wills and Probate Law and Estate Law.

Elder Law

Overview of Elder Law

Family Law not only involves the break-down of spousal relationships, and issues of spousal support, division of assets, and custody and support of, or access to, children of such relationships, but also encompasses issues of aging, including provision for and protection of persons in need of care arising from infirmity or illness.

If you have family members, such as aging parents, who are in need of planning, care, or protection, we can help with legal advice as to how to protect and promote the needs of aging adults, while ensuring that their autonomy is respected.

Such legal advice and planning may be proactive, and undertaken by persons themselves while fully autonomous, or undertaken at a point in time when an adult no longer has the ability to make important life decisions for themselves.

In addition to issues of aging and care of themselves, the aged, such as grandparents, are sometime called upon to assume care responsibilities for others, such as children, or grandchildren.

At times, such persons may be curious as to what rights they have in relation to custody, access and visitation with grandchildren, arising from such circumstances as separation and divorce, or child protection proceedings commenced by the Province.

We can help with insight, understanding, and legal advice in such matters.


Powers of Attorney for Property Management

Elder adults often seek to authorize adult children to assist them with management of assets. The mechanism by which such authority is given is a written document called a Power of Attorney which grants authority, in addition to rather than in substitution for that of the otherwise autonomous adult donor, to manage assets, pursuant to sec. 56 of the Property Act. In order to be able to grant such authority by such means, the donor of the Power of Attorney must be possessed of full mental capacity to understand the legal consequences of granting to someone else legal authority to make decisions for them and to manage property and assets. The authority granted under a Power of Attorney generally ends at such date as the donor loses mental capacity, unless the Power of Attorney states in the document, pursuant to sec. 58.2(1) of the Property Act that it is to endure even in the event of subsequent incapacity, which document is referred to as an “Enduring Power of Attorney.”

Such Powers of Attorney may convey immediately such authority to act, or only upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as the incapacity of the donor. Such Powers of Attorney can also place limitations or restrictions on the scope of the Attorney’s authority, such as restrictions on the ability of the Attorney to sell real property or other assets of the donor. The granting of a Power of Attorney does not diminish or limit the authority of the donor to makes decision while fully capacitated; it merely grants authority to another individual to exercise the rights and authority granted under the document concurrently with the donor.

If an authority to act under a Power of Attorney is granted immediately upon signature by the donor of the document, so long as the donor is fully capacitated, the donor retains the authority to revoke at any time by notice in writing of such revocation of authority delivered to the Attorney and third parties, such as banks and government departments and agencies relying on the prior grant of authority.


Powers of Attorney for Health Care

At times, elder adults wish to authorize another person to speak on their behalf and to make health care decisions about medical treatment that the elder adult wishes either to accept or reject in circumstances where the elder adult is unable to make such decisions on their own behalf due to illness or infirmity.

Documents euphemistically called “Living Wills,” in which the maker of the document wishes to state in advance of infirmity or incapacity from age, trauma, or illness, their wishes and preferences as to certain types of medical treatment, are not legally recognized in New Brunswick as binding on interested persons such as family members, doctors, and hospital administrators. In order to legally ensure that your wishes and preferences in matters of medical treatment are respected, it is necessary to create a document called a Power of Attorney for Personal Care, pursuant to sec. 40 of the Infirmed Persons Act.

As with Powers of Attorney for management of real property or other assets, Powers of Attorney for Health Care may be revoked so long as the donor of such authority remains capacitated. Such Powers of Attorney can also place limitations or restrictions on the scope of the Attorney’s authority, such as restrictions on the types of medical treatment that you are wish them to accept or reject on your behalf. Unlike Powers of Attorney for property and asset management which may be granted at the time of execution of the Power of Attorney, professional ethics of doctors and hospital policies usually dictate that so long as a patient is capacitated, medical and personal care decisions, including the provision of informed consent for the administration of medical treatment, should be obtained from the patient. The consent based on the authority given to the donee of a Power of Attorney for Health Care is usually sought in circumstances where the donor of the Power of Attorney is otherwise unable to made informed decisions on their own behalf as to their own health care.

There is no prescribed form in New Brunswick for General Powers of Attorney or Powers of Attorney for Health Care, but certain formalities must be observed, such as the requirement under sec. 40 of the Infirmed Persons Act that Powers of Attorney for Health Care be executed under seal, and be witnessed by a person other than the Attorney. Authority to manage assets and to make health care decisions can be granted to the same or different persons, and such authorities can be combined in a single document, or separated into separate Powers of Attorney.


Infirmed Persons Applications

In circumstances where an elder adult has not otherwise chosen in advance the person who will make decisions for them in the event of any subsequent infirmity by signature to a Power of Attorney for Property or Health Care, in the event of their loss of mental capacity due to age, illness, or infirmity, it becomes necessary in such circumstance for such interested persons as family members, to make an application to the Court pursuant to the Infirmed Persons Act for appointment to act and make decisions on behalf of the infirmed person. Such Court appointed representative, whether an individual or individuals, is referred to under the Infirmed Persons Act as the Committee of the person and/or estate of the infirmed person.

The legal expenses of such application are reviewed by the Court at the time of its granting of an order appointing a person or persons to act as Committee for the infirmed person and paid from the assets of the infirmed person. In comparison with the costs of preparation of Powers of Attorney for either asset management, health care, or both, infirmed persons applications are substantially more costly to the estate of the infirmed person. Another recommendation in favor of signature to Powers of Attorney while still fully capacitated is the freedom of choice by the donor as to person who will exercise such authority on their behalf.

If you or a family member, such as an aging parent, is faced with the contemplation of loss of autonomy due to illness or infirmity, we offer a complimentary consultation to assist with such care planning needs.


Adult Protection

In addition to the ability of interested persons, such as family members, to address concerns that an infirmed or incompetent adult may be in need of protection from themselves or others by means of an application under the Infirmed Persons Act, the Department of Social Development takes an active interest in both preventing neglect and abuse of seniors as well as abuse of infirmed or incompetent, in addition to providing needed long-term care services for adults.

In addition to the Department of Social Development, the Office of the Public Trustee also has a mandate to assist with the protection and safeguarding of assets of infirmed or incompetent adults.

At Dunsmuir Law an initial complimentary consultation is available to assist you in dealing with the circumstance of an adult family member, such as a parent, in need of protection or assistance with managing their affairs.


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