2002 B.C.J. No. 3162
Application by Ingrid Ross for an order declaring that her mother Adolfine Reisinger was incapable of managing her own affairs and appointing her as Committee. Reisinger said that if she was found incapable of managing her own affairs, her husband Peter Britz ought to be appointed. Reisinger, age 75, had been widowed twice before her marriage to Britz in 2001. Long before the death of her second husband, Ross had been designated as the beneficiary of all the Reisinger’s bank accounts and investments and was the named beneficiary in both their wills. This was their longstanding estate plan. After Mr. Reisinger’s death, Ross and her husband moved in with Reisinger. At Reisinger’s request, all bank accounts and investments as well as her home were placed in the joint names of Reisinger and Ross. At Reisinger’s request, Ross quit full-time work to help her mother. She began to pay Ross $400 per month from an RRIF. After Reisinger met Britz, things began to change. Reisinger moved in with Britz and executed a Power of Attorney in Britz’s favour. She commenced an action for recovery of Ross’s half-interest in her home and sought to change the bank accounts. Two physicians reported that Reisinger did not have capacity to manage her own affairs and suffered from dementia. Reisinger testified but had a very poor recollection of the past and little or no understanding of the ongoing legal actions.
Application allowed and Ross was appointed Committee of the affairs of Reisinger. It was obvious from the reports of the physicians and from Reisinger’s testimony that she suffered from dementia and was incapable of managing her own affairs. The Power of Attorney granted to Britz was executed at a time when Reisinger was under mental disability and was terminated. Britz was not in any way a suitable committee for Reisinger. All of his actions were designed to unwind her long held estate plan. He contributed to a state of affairs whereby Reisinger was alienated from Ross and effectively isolated from friends and family, all the while, gaining greater control over her financial affairs. It was blatantly obvious that he was motivated by his own self interest. Ross was the appropriate person for appointment at a Committee. She was a well-educated individual, familiar with all aspects of her mother’s financial affairs and had managed her affairs without difficulty until Britz came on the scene.