Informal trusteeship | How it works - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Informal trusteeship | How it works

Informal trusteeship is a practical, low-cost way to help someone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to manage their finances and who receives a regular cheque from a government program or pension.

What’s important to know

Informal trusteeship is just one option for people who need help with their finances. Other options are:

An informal trustee is someone who is authorized to help another person manage their monthly income cheque from the government and pay their bills with it.

It’s good for people who:

  • are having difficulty managing their finances
  • receive a government cheque for Canada Pension, Old Age Security or one of the other participating programs (see the list below)
  • don’t have many assets such as real estate, investments, etc.

An informal trustee has limited authority. For example, they can’t manage investments or sell property. If the person has considerable assets, trusteeship or an enduring power of attorney may be appropriate.

Show Answer Why do this?

As an informal trustee, it's recognized that you have permission to help someone manage their money and pay their bills. This is important when you are dealing with banks and other financial institutions.

It’s a low-cost alternative to trusteeship, which takes time and money to arrange.

Show Answer What's an example?

If your parent receives Old Age Security and Canada Pension, and is having difficulty remembering to pay their bills, you can apply to become an informal trustee. This authority is granted through Old Age Security and Canada Pension, and it gives you permission to deal directly with the bank, pay bills, manage your parent’s benefits, etc.

Show Answer How do I sign up?

Unlike trusteeship, you don’t have to file an application with the court to set up an informal trusteeship arrangement.

Contact the government department that issues the monthly cheque. Tell them you want to set up informal trusteeship and they will explain the process. It varies by department.

They may ask you to provide a certificate of incapacity. It’s a form that says the person who receives the cheque can’t manage their finances on their own. They’ll tell you where you can get the form, as it varies by program.

The government departments that offer informal trusteeship are listed below.

Government of Canada

Service Canada – Income Assistance for Seniors

Call 1-800-277-9914 (toll-free)

  • Old Age Security Pension, Canada Pension Plan, Spouse’s Allowance, Allowance for the Survivor, Guaranteed Income Supplement

Veterans Affairs Canada

Call 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free)

  • Veteran’s Pension and other benefits

Veterans often receive benefits from more than one department. You may need to set up separate informal trusteeship arrangements.

Government of Alberta

Alberta Human Services

Alberta Seniors

Show Answer How long does it take?

It varies by department.

Show Answer Is there a cost?

This is a free program.

Modified: 2015-05-29
PID: 18043

Contact this service

1-877-427-4525 (toll-free)

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)