Tutorship to the property of a minor
Legal tutors (the parents)
As parents and legal tutors, you are primarily responsible for your child. Your responsibilities as legal tutors include administering your child’s patrimony and ensuring the exercise of their rights, including those related to their patrimony.
As parents, you also have parental authority and an obligation of support to your child.
Your responsibilities as the holders of parental authority are not discussed in the following pages, as they do not fall under the purview of the Curateur public.
Ensuring the exercise of the minor’s civil rights
Ensuring the exercise of the minor’s civil rights means representing your child in acts they cannot perform alone, e.g., signing a contract to buy a car. Another example is suing an insurance company that refuses to pay for stolen computer equipment belonging to the child.
Ensuring the administration of the minor’s patrimony
Ensuring the administration of the minor’s patrimony (money, real estate, cars, land, etc.) means doing whatever is necessary to preserve the value of your child’s patrimony, so that it can be returned to the child once they reach full age or become emancipated.
When the value of your child’s patrimony exceeds $40,000, your management is subject to oversight. Moreover, the law imposes specific obligations on you. These obligations are described in the document Administering the property of a minor - Guide for the legal tutor and the tutorship council (PDF 2.70 Mb).
However, you will be required to provide a final administration report to your child when they turn 18, even if the value of their patrimony is not more than $40,000.
When your child receives a gift (money or property) or an inheritance worth more than $40,000, or any indemnity (regardless of the amount), make sure that the person giving the gift or money sends a Declaration of the remittance of property in favour of a minor (PDF 54 Kb) to the Curateur public.
In the event of a change in the legal tutors’ situation
The tutors separate
In the event of a separation, you both remain your child’s legal tutors. So, whether custody is shared or granted to just one of you or to someone else, you both retain your responsibilities as legal tutors.
One of the tutors can no longer fulfill their obligations
If one of you dies, the other parent becomes the sole legal tutor. The same applies if a parent is declared incapable (unable to look after themselves or manage their property) or if their parental authority is stripped by the court. However, in these situations, the parent concerned continues to have an obligation of support to the child.
If one or both of you can no longer act as legal tutor and holder of parental authority, you can hand over or share your responsibilities with another person. This person will be appointed as the suppletive tutor.
Both tutors can no longer fulfill their obligations
If you both die or become incapable and can no longer care for your child as a result, a dative tutorship may be instituted.
The following three situations are possible.
You designated a dative tutor while you were still alive
The person designated by the last parent to die or to become incapable is appointed as tutor to your child.
If you both die or become incapable at the same time (e.g., because of a car accident), and you had each chosen different tutors, the court will decide.
You did not designate a tutor
A meeting of your child’s relatives and friends will be called to form a tutorship council. This council will recommend to the court a person to act as your child’s tutor.
No one can act as tutor
The director of youth protection (DYP) of one of Québec’s youth centres will act as tutor to the person or will recommend someone to look after your child and administer their patrimony. However, the Curateur public will be appointed as tutor to the property, if the value of the child’s patrimony exceeds $40,000, or by court decision, even if the patrimony is worth less than $40,000.
Loss of parental authority
Loss of parental authority happens following a court decision that strips one parent of their parental authority over the child. This is called deprivation of parental authority . This deprivation leads to the immediate loss of tutorship. If no tutor is designated or pending the appointment of a dative tutor, the director of youth protection of one of Québec’s youth centres becomes responsible for the tutorship. When the value of the child’s patrimony exceeds $40,000, the court will appoint the Curateur public as tutor to the property.
If the parents are stripped of certain aspect of their parental authority, the court may or may not maintain their tutorship, based on the interests of the child.
Replacement of a parent in their role of tutor to the property
A parent cannot voluntarily resign as legal tutor. When the tutor fails to meet their legal obligations related to administration of the child’s patrimony (making an inventory, providing the security, producing the annual management report or final administration report), or when they use the child's money for their own needs, or in cases of financial abuse, for example, the tutorship council must work with them to find solutions. However, if the parent continues to default on their obligations, the tutorship council must petition the court for their replacement. Any interested person, including the Curateur public, may also petition the court for their replacement.
When the court decides to replace them, the tutor (parent) is replaced in their role as tutor to the property of their child, but not in their parental responsibilities. Therefore, not only do they retain custody of their child and tutorship to the person, but they also retain parental authority and the obligation of support.
Contact the general information service of the Curateur public
Telephone (toll-free): 1 844 LECURATEUR (532-8728)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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