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In the event that your spouse becomes deceased and there are minor children in the estate  

After the death of your spouse, you will become the only guardian of your child. As the person with custody of the child, you will also act as their guardian. Instead of the child’s parents, the child’s guardian can also be another person who has been entrusted with the child’s custody. 

In certain situations, you may be disqualified, i.e. unable to act as the child’s guardian. In these cases, you will need a substitute. For more information, read the instructions below on how to handle typical situations and whether you can act as the child’s guardian. 

Using the property of a minor 

As a guardian, you must take the minor’s interests into account in every situation. You must manage the minor’s property carefully and systematically.  

Deposit the minor’s property in their name. You can use the minor’s property and inheritance only for their own benefit and personal needs. The property owned by a minor does not remove their parents’ maintenance obligation. A minor is never required to participate in the maintenance of their guardians or siblings.  

The inheritance received by a minor may not be used to pay for normal living costs. You can apply for an orphan’s pension and other benefits to cover these costs. As a guardian, you are required to determine whether the minor can receive an orphan’s pension or other benefits (e.g. compensation from an employees’ group life insurance or some other similar type of benefit).   

Please note that, as a rule, you may not borrow the minor’s funds. However, if the borrowing is justified for securing the interests of the minor, you must apply for a substitute guardian. The substitute will consider whether borrowing the funds will serve the minor’s interests. They will also negotiate the terms and conditions of the loan with you. After this, the substitute will seek our permission for the action. Read more about applying for a substitute.

Laws related to the matter

Guardianship Services Act (442/1999)

Do you need help?

Read the frequently asked questions about guardianship of a minor.

Telephone service: 0295 536 256.

Service hours: Mon–Fri 9–15. 

Customer service for family relations and custodian information regarding minors recorded in the Finnish Population information System visit our website.


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