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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This section of our website is for you! Because you are a minor according to the law, there are certain legal acts you cannot do, such as vote, sue for damages, or sign a major contract or lease. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do these things before long!
If you own property, including money or a house you have inherited, unfortunately, because of your age, you can’t always do what you want with it.
But let’s be clear! You do have a certain amount of power over the money you earn from working. For example, you can buy small things such as clothes, video games, or magazines without having to ask anyone else for permission.
On the other hand, you are not allowed to make large purchases on your own, for example, buying a car. The law (more specifically, the Civil Code of Québec) dictates that you are not entitled to do whatever you want with your money when it comes to large amounts. Generally, the responsibility for managing this money is entrusted to your parents or your dative or suppletive tutor, who is the person appointed to replace your parents.
If your parents, dative tutor or suppletive tutor believe you are overspending, they can ask the court to decide what portion of your funds you can spend as you like. If you are earning a lot of money, the court may set the portion of your salary that you are allowed to use for your regular and usual needs.
Below, you’ll find information about the rules that exist to protect your property until you come of age or are emancipated.
When you turn 16 you can obtain your emancipation, either partial (simple emancipation) or complete (full emancipation).
Simple emancipation is when minors are given the right to perform acts that normally only an adult can do (e.g., sign a lease of less than three years, direct exercise of certain civil rights, and all the acts of simple administration).
Full emancipation is when, either by marriage or through a court judgment, minors are granted the right to exercise their civil rights as if they were an adult.
These three terms mean the same thing: they refer to everything a person owns. The Civil Code of Québec mainly uses the word "patrimony," but also sometimes uses the word "property." You can acquire property through an inheritance (money, house, objects of value, etc.), a gift from your grandparents or someone else, in the form of a fee (for acting in a movie, or participating in contest, etc.), a salary (if you work part-time while going to school), or a benefit from an insurer (e.g., : Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, life insurance company), etc.
Usually this is the responsibility of your parents, who are also known as your legal tutors. They are said to be responsible for administering your patrimony.
Still—and you’ll be happy to know this!—your parents cannot do whatever they want with your property either:
In addition to administering your assets, your parents are responsible for protecting and representing you, in other words, acting in your name for all of the official or legal acts that you are not legally authorized to carry out.
The type of protection that your parents are exercising over your property and your person is called legal tutorship, and your parents must do this voluntarily, with no financial compensation.
Was someone else appointed to care for you because one or both of your parents are deceased or incapable, or because the court decided they were not capable of assuming this responsibility? It could be your father’s or mother’s new spouse, your aunt, uncle, grandmother, family friend, or someone who was not at first part of your immediate circle of family and friends. This individual is responsible for administering your patrimony, alone or with another person, until you come of age. He or she is known as a dative tutor or a suppletive tutor, and the form of protective supervision is a dative tutorship or a suppletive tutorship rather than a legal tutorship.
The suppletive tutorship applies when your father or mother is unable to fully exercising their responsibility of legal tutor and wants to delegate or share it with one of your relatives or with their spouse. Either of your parents can make this request.
The dative tutorship applies if both your parents are unable to fully exercising their responsibility of legal tutor, because they have died, are incapable, or have been stripped of their parental authority over you.
In some cases, the Curateur public du Québec is appointed to manage your affairs.
In principle, no. Under the Civil Code of Québec, parents are legally obliged to ensure the mental, physical, and material welfare of their children, including their education, by paying the related costs with their employment earnings or other income. Yes, that’s how it is! This responsibility is known as the support obligation.
On the other hand, depending on the source of the assets being managed on your behalf, your father or mother may be able to draw on some of these funds to replace the income of your other parent who has died. For instance, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), pays a death benefit for minors or dependents. The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST or workers compensation board) also pays a monthly allowance to cover the needs of a surviving child. Money you have inherited can also be used for your maintenance and education.
With regard to the rest of your assets, your parents or tutor must preserve them until you come of age, except under special circumstances or when authorized by the court.
If you want to know more about this subject, talk with your tutor or the members of your tutorship council. You can also contact the representative of the Curateur public du Québec who is in charge of your file.*
*You may only contact the representative who is in charge of your file at the Curateur public du Québec if you are over 14; otherwise, your tutor must do so on your behalf.
No, with a few rare exceptions, for instance, if your parents’ income is very low and your patrimony is very large. In fact, according to the Civil Code of Québec, the support obligation between parents and children goes both ways. This means your money could be used to cover the essential needs of your father and mother. It is up to the court to decide and determine the amount that you should give them. You have no support obligation, however, when it comes to family members who are not your parents.
Your parents may, however, use your money to pay certain costs (setting up a tutorship council, lawyer’s fees, bank fees, etc.).
Also, in extremely rare situations, for example, if your assets are so large and complicated to manage that they require almost full-time attention, your parents can be paid to do this using your assets. But it is not their decision to make: it’s up to the court to decide and set the amount of their remuneration.