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Guardianship Weekly – Week 7: Guardian of Property under the Children’s Law Reform Act

A guardian of property for a child has charge of and is responsible for the care and management of the property of the child.[1] Guardianships for children may be necessary for a variety of purposes where monies or other assets will be paid out to a child.

Dealing with a Minor’s Property

A parent cannot handle property of their child’s that is over the amount of $10,000.[2] This necessitates a court order for the appointment of a guardian for property. There is a different guardianship regime for children under the Children’s Law Reform Act.

Sections 47 and 58 of the CLRA establish the regime for appointing a guardian of a minor’s property. A parent or any other person may be appointed as guardian of a minor’s property upon application to the court and with notice to the OCL.[3] Subject to a court order or agreement, the parents of a child are equally entitled to be appointed as guardians. Where the amount of money is large, the court may require an insured professional, for instance a trust company or other independent professional, to act as guardian.

In deciding who should be a child’s guardian to manage their money the court considers the ability of the applicant to manage the property, the merits of the proposed management plan for the investment of the child’s funds and the views of the child. Guardians are required to submit a management plan in a prescribed form with their guardianship application to the court.

It is the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (“OCL”) who responds to a guardianship application brought concerning a minor’s property in accordance with section 47 of the CLRA. The person making the application should be named as the Applicant and the minor child, (“X” by his litigation guardian, The Children’s Lawyer) should be named as the Respondent.

Applicants should be aware of the bond requirements under section 55(1) of the CLRA.

In managing the child’s money, the guardian is required to:

  • keep accounts of the child’s money;
  • make proper trustee investments and invest the child’s money as required by the management plan approved by the court (guardians have to comply with the Trustee Act for the investment of trust funds); and
  • transfer property to the child when he turns 18.[4]

If the child has a legal obligation to support another person, the court will terminate the guardianship on the child’s application.[5]

[1]             CLRA, supra note 2, s 47(2).

[2]             Ibid, s 51(4).

[3]             Ibid, s 47.

[4]             Ibid, s 53.

[5]             Ibid, s 56.

This paper is intended for the purposes of providing information only and is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This paper is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive.

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