Tutorship to the property of a minor
Acting as both tutor and estate liquidator or trustee
In addition to their duties as legal, dative or suppletive tutor, the tutor may also be entrusted with the administration of other property that is not part of the minor’s patrimony. For example, they could be the liquidator of a succession in which the minor is an heir. They could also be a trustee.
If the event of a dual role
When you are both the tutor and the liquidator of a succession, different rules may apply.
Therefore, you must maintain separation between the patrimony you are managing as the tutor to the minor and the patrimony you are managing as liquidator of the succession or trustee (separate investments, separate accounting, etc.). You must act in accordance with the obligations and powers that correspond to each of your roles. More specifically:
- You will exercise powers of administration over the property of the succession or trust as specified in the instrument appointing you or as required by law, where applicable;
- As a trustee or liquidator, you will not be accountable to the Curateur public or the tutorship council. However, you must protect the interests of the minor and act with caution, diligence, honesty and loyalty. You must also produce a final report at the end of your term as liquidator or trustee.
Peter Everyman dies in a car accident. The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec pays an indemnity of $45,000 to his 13‑year-old child.
The deceased’s will designates the child’s mother as liquidator of the succession.
- The $45,000 is not part of the succession. The mother acts as legal tutor for the purpose of managing the indemnity. Since the indemnity exceeds $40,000, she must submit an annual administration report to the Curateur public and to the tutorship council, which she is required to form.
- The mother is not accountable to the Curateur public for her administration of the property of the succession provided the latter is not given to the minor heir, since she is acting as liquidator.
- She must manage the two patrimonies separately, while acting with caution, diligence, honesty and loyalty.
Make sure to consult your designating instrument for your list of responsibilities as liquidator of the succession or trustee.
Once the liquidation is complete, the property bequeathed to the minor is added to their patrimony. As the legal tutor, the mother must then include that property in the annual administration report that she will submit to the Curateur public and to the tutorship council. This means she will no longer have to keep her accounting separate.
If the event of a conflict of interest
When the minor is the sole heir to the succession, the tutor may appoint a liquidator other than themselves, unless the will stipulates otherwise. The same applies when the tutor and the minor are the only two heirs.
You may want to contact a lawyer or a notary for more information about your rights in this situation.
Contact the general information service of the Curateur public
Telephone (toll-free): 1 844 LECURATEUR (532-8728)
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Wednesday: from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
General mailing address (Head office and territorial branches)
Curateur public du Québec
600, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest
Montréal (Québec) H3B 4W9
Last update: February 23, 2023