Guardianship and continuing power of attorney
The appointment of a guardian is a last resort option to organise the management of a client’s affairs. Therefore, the appointment of a guardian will require there is no other way to ensure that the affairs of the person in need of help will not be managed in an appropriate manner.
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is the guardianship authority, and as such determines a person’s need for guardianship and, where necessary appoints a guardian or submits an application to the courts.
Continuing power of attorney
Continuing power of attorney is a more flexible option for organising the management of affairs than guardianship. By providing continuing power of attorney, a person can prepare in advance for the management of their affairs in the event that they are at a later time unable to manage them themselves. In a continuing power of attorney, the person (assignor) appoints an assignee to manage their affairs. Power of attorney will enter into force after the guardianship authority has verified it.
A public guardian and their task
Any reliable family member or friend, who gives their consent to the task and who is considered suitable for the task, can act as a guardian. If there is no such person or an outside party must be appointed to the task for some other reason, a public guardian will act as guardian.
A guardian is appointed to their task either permanently or for a fixed period.
The guardian is charged with the management of the client’s property and financial affairs. The guardian must in all situations act solely in the best interest of the client. A guardian may not disclose information on the client to others without the client’s consent.
A guardian has the right to receive a reasonable fee for the management of the client’s affairs and compensation for their expenses.
A guardian can sometimes be disqualified from representing the client. In this case, they must apply for a substitute from the guardianship authority.
Guardianship for a minor
The custodians of a child under the age of 18 will also act as their guardian. They must manage the minor’s property in a planned and systematic manner. A minor’s property can only be used for the minor’s benefit and for the minor’s personal needs, while taking into account that a minor’s parents are responsible for the minor’s maintenance.
The guardianship of a minor is entered into the Register of Guardianship Affairs, if the property in the minor’s ownership exceeds 20,000 euros in value. In this case, the custodians are accountable to the guardianship authority. The guardianship for a minor comes to an end when they turn 18.
Advice, guidance and supervision
Digital and Population Data Services Agency will provide advice and guidance in all guardianship-related matters. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency also supervises the activities of guardians as well as acts as a supervisory authority on accounts and licences. The guardian must submit a statement, meaning an account on the management of affairs, to the guardianship authority each year. In addition, the guardian must apply for permission from the guardianship authority for certain procedures, such as the sale of a residence.
Register of Guardianship Affairs
The Register of Guardianship Affairs is a Digital and Population Data Services Agency-maintained national register from which anyone can get information on whether someone is under guardianship, who their guardian is and what the guardian’s tasks include.