Assessing the Capacity to Make Decisions

Page Contents

Capacity Assessment is the formal assessment of a person's mental capacity to make decisions about property and personal care. Many situations require capacity assessments to be conducted by specially qualified assessors who must follow specific guidelines.

This page contains information and resources for assessors as well as those who are requesting a capacity assessment.

I'm concerned about someone's well-being. What do I do?

If you know of an adult who appears to be mentally incapable and at serious risk, contact the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT).

If it appears that a person is mentally incapable and at serious risk of harm, the OPGT will conduct an investigation if no alternative solution can be found.

It is important to note that this is not an immediate, emergency crisis response service. If you are in a crisis or can't wait for an appointment, go to the emergency department of a nearby hospital. The OPGT has no authority to make decisions for the person during an investigation or while the matter is before the courts.

For more infomation, read the "Frequently Asked Questions" about Guardianship Investigations.

I need to request an assessment

Step 1:  Read the Frequently Asked Questions

Start here for general information about the capacity assessment process

Step 2: Contact an Assessor directly

Contact an assessor in your region:

You can also get a list of assessors from the Capacity Assessment Office at CAO@ontario.ca, by phone at (416) 327–6766 or fax (416) 327–6724, or write to:

Capacity Assessment Office
Suite 800
595 Bay Street
Toronto, ON
M5G 2M6

Step 3:  Complete the "Request for Assessment of Capacity" form ("Form 4")

Fill out this form to request a capacity assessment and provide it to the assessor you have selected

Step 4:  Contact our staff for more information

For information about arranging a capacity assessment, applying for financial assistance if you cannot pay the full cost of an assessment, or enquiring about assessors, call: (416) 327–6766 or 1 (866) 521–1033

I want to contest an assessment

A person who has been assessed as incapable has the right to have the assessment independently reviewed by the Consent and Capacity Board, a tribunal operated by the Ministry of Health.

For more information, go to: www.ccboard.on.ca or call the Ministry of Health Info-Line at 1–800–461–2036

Where can I get a lawyer if I don't have much money?

The OPGT has a duty to arrange legal representation for persons alleged to be incapable in proceedings before the Superior Court of Justice under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 where so ordered by the Court.

Legal Aid Ontario has a duty to arrange legal representation for persons alleged to be incapable in proceedings under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996 before the Consent and Capacity Board where so ordered by the board. Information about Legal Aid Ontario can be obtained from their website.

For more information on Legal Aid Ontario, go to www.legalaid.on.ca or call:

Toronto: (416) 979-1446
Toll free: 1-800-668-8258

More information about the OPGT's duty to arrange legal representation

I am performing an assessment

Guidelines for Conducting Assessments of Capacity
Sets out the methodologies that capacity assessors are required to follow when conducting assessments
Assessment Forms (A through E)

The following forms are to be completed by an assessor over the course of a capacity assessment

  1. Form A - Statement of Assessors (Property)
  2. Form B - Statement of Assessors (Personal Care)
  3. Form C - Assessment Report
  4. Form D - Statement of Assessors (Grant Power of Attorney – s.50)
  5. Form E - Statement of Assessors (Revoke Power of Attorney – s.50)
Assessor training
For information about assessor training call: 416–327–6766 or 1–866–521–1033