Management of a minor’s property

A guardian must manage a 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 parents or guardians who have custody of a minor act as the minor’s guardians and are together responsible for the management of the minor’s property. This means, for example, that both guardians must sign such documents as applications, notifications and account forms. When necessary, the guardian may issue a power of attorney for the performance of an action.

Duties and responsibilities of a guardian

A minor’s property belongs to the minor and no one else. Such property includes, for example, gifts given to a minor and funds saved in the minor’s name, the minor’s share of the assets in an undivided estate, insurance compensation paid to the minor, pension income, damages paid to the minor and investment assets. The minor property includes the profits from the aforementioned assets, e.g. interests, dividends and rental income.

Funds that have been set aside as savings must be invested safely. A minor’s funds may not be mixed with the funds of others. A guardian may not donate a minor’s property. The guardian may also not grant or take out personal loans from the minor’s funds without permission from the guardianship authority. In lending situations, there may also be a need to appoint a substitute for the guardian.

The guardian is always responsible for keeping bank statements, receipts and other documents related to the management of the minor’s property. The retaining of documents is necessary so that the guardian can in due course explain to their adult child how they managed the child’s property while the child was a minor. The guardianship authority may also ask the guardian to present these documents.

Disqualification of the guardian and actions that require a permit

A guardian cannot act on behalf of a minor if the guardian themself or someone who is a close family member of the guardian is a counterparty to the matter. In this case, the guardian must apply to the guardianship authority or district court for the appointment of a substitute guardian. A substitute guardian only represents a minor in the task for which the substitute was appointed.

The guardian can initiate the appointment of a substitute by completing a written application and submitting it with its attachments to the guardianship authority.

Application form for the appointment of a substitute guardian (in Finnish)

Consent of a substitute guardian (in Finnish)

More information on when a substitute must be appointed in place of a guardian

A guardian or substitute guardian needs permission from the guardianship authority to perform certain actions on behalf of the minor that are significant for the minor.

Permit application (in Finnish)

More information on actions that require permits

Key concepts

Minor

A minor is a person aged under 18. Minors do not have the right to make decisions about their property, conclude important agreements or take other significant measures. However, a minor may take measures that are normal and of a minor significance regarding the circumstances. A minor who has reached the age of 15 can make decisions about the property they have earned by working.

Guardian of a minor

The guardians of the minor are usually the minor’s parents, who have custody of the minor. If two people have custody of the minor, both of them are guardians regardless of which parent the minor lives with. They must take care of the duties of a guardian together. Sometimes, a person who does not have custody of the minor may be appointed as the guardian. The same responsibilities apply to all guardians of minors.

Guardianship authority

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency acts as the guardianship authority.

Frequently asked questions

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