Law to better protect
Find out more about the changes that will have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and their loved ones.
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You are the tutor or curator to someone close to you who has been declared incapacitated based on a medical and psychosocial assessment. Because this individual is vulnerable, the court has appointed you as legal representative to protect their person, exercise their civil rights and administer their property.
Both the judgment appointing you and the law impose certain obligations upon you. You should find out what your role involves and be aware that in some situations, you must obtain permission from the tutorship council before you act.
Whether the relative or friend under your protection is partially or temporarily incapacitated (in which case you are their tutor) or totally or permanently incapacitated (in which case you are their curator), when you intervene on their behalf, you have to act solely in their interests.
Are you responsible for looking after their person? If so, you should be guided by the principles described under Protection of the person. Information about the person’s rights and consent to care is found under Rights of the person.
Is it your duty to look after their property? As tutor, you are obliged to preserve their patrimony and you have simple administration powers. As curator, in addition to preserving the patrimony, you should increase its value wherever possible and you have full administration powers. More information about your respective obligations is found under Protection of property.
The tutor or curator may request a re-evaluation of the protective supervision at any time, if there is a significant change in the protected person’s state of health.
As tutor or curator to the person, you have to arrange for their protective supervision to be reviewed at regular intervals. This review is based on a medical and psychosocial reassessment and has to be conducted:
Maybe the protection needs of the incapacitated person have changed? If so, the form of protective supervision will be modified as recommended in the reassessment report. If modification of the protective supervision is contested, the court decides what should happen.
What is the procedure if the person regains their capacity and the recommendation to end protective supervision is accepted? In this case, you have to give the person a report about your administration.
The tutorship council is there to help you make decisions and fulfil your obligations. Feel free to consult it, particularly if you are handling a delicate matter such as consenting to certain types of end-of-life care or selling the family home. And remember: the person in charge of your file at the Curateur public is also there to provide information.
Remember to give an annual administration report to the tutorship council and the Curateur public.
If you devote a lot of time to looking after the person under your protection or administering their property, you are entitled to ask for remuneration. You obtain permission from the tutorship council, and then the court sets the amount, which is usually an hourly rate. The amount is paid from the assets of the person you represent.
If necessary, the tutorship council may ask the court to appoint someone to replace you.
You could be reported to the Curateur public, who will investigate and if necessary, take the required steps to rectify the situation.