Coming "soon" from the LCO!

Keeping in mind that "soon" is a relative word in the LCO's vocabulary, we'll "soon" be releasing two new major documents, and experience one other major development.

The first is soon in anyone's vocabulary. The final report in the small estates project, under the guidance of Sue Gratton and now in the very last stages of graphic design, will be released November 19th at a launch to which those who have contributed to our thinking and recommendations, as well as others, will be invited. Hint: you can expect to see recommendations for a special procedure to probate small estates. Stay tuned for the details - they're what really matter!

The second you won't actually have a chance to read before December at the earliest, and the disadvantages of releasing anything during the increasingly early days of the holiday season being what they are, probably not until January 2016. I'm pleased to say that the LCO's Board of Governors approved the draft interim report in the legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship project yesterday. With the significant assistance of the project advisory group, internal and commissioned research, and extensive consultations, project head Lauren Bates has developed a comprehensive review of major issues arising in this area of the law, with a focus on the Substitute Decisions Act, the Health Care Consent Act and the Mental Health Act, as well as the implementation of the statutory provisions, forms of decision-making, education and risk of misuse and abuse of, in particular, powers of attorney. This is one of the LCO's biggest and most ambitious projects to date and in my unbiased opinion, I think that the interim report is well worth the wait.

Now that the Board has approved the draft interim report, we'll make the changes raised by the Board, proof it again, send it off for translation into French (a few weeks for that), prepare a summary and other accompanying materials, and off it will go into the ether, posted on the LCO's website and emailed to the many people and organizations who have contributed to it.

I will likely see the final interim report only when it is emailed to me, since I'll probably no longer be with the LCO by then. One of the sad aspects for me of leaving the LCO is that I'll no longer be immersed at all stages of the projects - it's been terrific having a hand in so many different areas, even as the main and hard work is being carried out by our highly capable legal staff. Nevertheless, as many reading this know, I will complete my tenure in December - this will also be coming quite soon, as of course, will the beginning of the tenure of the LCO's incoming executive director, Aneurin (Nye) Thomas, currently at Legal Aid Ontario, where he has been instrumental (in various ways) in LAO's research and policy development. Nye will join the LCO as executive director designate on October 19th (so the "soonest" of our soons!) and take over full responsibilitly on December 15th. In the meantime, he'll not only become familiar with our internal processes (minus, I hope, my bad habits), but also meet with many of our funders and those who have been involved otherwise in our work over the last eight years. Many of them already know Nye from his LAO work, but this will be a chance for me to firmly establish him in their minds as the executive director of the LCO.





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