Tutorship to the property of a minor
The minor plays a role in their tutorship, with the law gradually granting them several rights, including the right to manage some of their property.
Exercise of rights by the minor regarding administration of their property
The minor may manage their employment earnings and any allowances paid to them to meet their usual and customary needs. However, when their earnings are substantial or where circumstances warrant it, the tutor may petition to the court to set the amount of money that the minor retains control of.
At age 14, the minor is considered to be of full age for acts relating to their work, profession, or art.
At this age, they must also be informed of the existence of their patrimony, under administration by their tutor, as well as how it is being managed. As such, their tutor must give them a copy of the annual report they will have prepared and sent to the tutorship council and to the Curateur public. They must ensure that the minor understands the content. This ensures the minor will be prepared to receive and manage their patrimony once they turn 18 or become emancipated.
Emancipation of the minor
Emancipation gives the minor greater autonomy. It allows them to perform certain acts that were previously forbidden. It can be partial (simple emancipation) or complete (full emancipation).
Simple emancipation allows a minor to perform certain acts as though they were of full age. It terminates the parental authority exercised by the parents or the tutor, and the minor no longer requires representation by their tutor to exercise their rights. However, their tutor must assist them in all acts that go beyond simple administration.
The minor can obtain simple emancipation by petitioning the court or asking their tutor. After obtaining authorization from the tutorship council, the tutor will then send the Declaration of Simple Emancipation (PDF 696 Kb) to the Curateur public.
Full emancipation allows the minor to exercise their civil rights like an adult. It terminates the tutorship, and the minor becomes solely responsible for all their actions.
A minor becomes fully emancipated upon getting married (which cannot take place before the age of 16). They may also petition the court for serious reasons. The application must also be submitted to the Curateur public, along with a copy of the opinion of the tutorship council, if one exists.
Limits of emancipation
Whether simple or full emancipation, the minor must wait until they are 18 years old to perform certain acts or to exercise certain rights reserved for adults. This includes:
- the right to buy lottery tickets, cigarettes or alcohol;
- the right to enter a bar or a casino;
- the right to vote.
These minors remain subject to the Youth Protection Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act .
Recourse against the tutor
If a minor who was under tutorship is dissatisfied with the way in which their patrimony was managed, they have three years, from the date they reach full age or are emancipated, to sue their legal tutors, dative tutor, or suppletive tutor for damages. This period may be extended if the minor is unable to act sooner. They may consult a lawyer or a notary for advice.
The three-year period also applies from the moment the legal tutors, dative tutor, or suppletive tutor is/are replaced by a new tutor. This new tutor will then be responsible for initiating the necessary proceedings.
When the minor is incapable of looking after themselves or their patrimony once they reach full age
One year before the minor reaches full age, steps can be taken to ensure they are placed under a tutorship to the person of full age starting at age 18. Once this tutorship is instituted, the tutor must submit a final report of their administration of the minor's patrimony to the new court-appointed tutor. The Curateur public must also be sent a copy.
Last update: February 23, 2023