No Right to Visit Elderly Parents

In a recent case, the B.C. Supreme Court refused to order a visitation schedule between a 90-year-old dementia patient and her three sons in the face of an objection by the patient’s daughter. Before becoming incapable of communicating effectively, the parties’ mother had appointed her daughter as her representative pursuant to the Representation Agreement Act. Due to the anxiety the mother suffered when her sons visited, the daughter refused to allow her brothers to visit their mother unattended. The brothers asked the court to order a visitation schedule.

In dismissing the brothers’ application, the court stated that while it does have an “inherent jurisdiction” to protect persons who are otherwise unable to protect themselves, it does not have jurisdiction to “dictate what those persons may do with their time where there is no presence or apprehension of injury to person or property”. Because there was no risk of any harm to the parties’ the court refused to interfere. The court also held that the daughter had authority under the Representation Agreement to refuse visits.

For more information contact David A. Hunter at 604-580-4753 or by email at dah@hdas.com. Mr. Hunter is a partner in the firm’s Estate & Trust Litigation group.

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