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Tutelle of a major

Verified 19 March 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Guardianship is a judicial measure designed to protect a person of age and/or all or part of his estate if he is no longer able to look after his own interests. A guardian represents her in the acts of civil life. The judge may, at any time, list acts that the person may or may not do alone, on a case-by-case basis.

Guardianship is for a person of age who needs to be continuously represented in the acts of civil life:

  • due to impairment of mental faculties 
  • or when she is physically unable to express her will.


The opening of a guardianship may be requested from the protection litigation judge by one of the following persons:

  • No one to protect
  • Person who lives couple with the person to protect
  • Parent or ally
  • Person with middle finger close and stable ties
  • Person who (already) exercises the legal protection measure (curator or guardian)
  • Public Prosecutor

The measure shall be proportionate and individualised according to the degree of impairment of the personal faculties of the person concerned.

The application must include the following documents:

Application for legal protection of an adult (family or legal protection)

  • Proof of the relationship between the applicant and the person to be protected (copy of family records, marriage contract, civil partnership agreement etc.),
  • Copy of the identity document and copy of the domicile of the person who wishes to perform the duties of authorised person
  • Letters from family members accepting this appointment
  • If a sale is planned, at least 2 property value notices

The application shall be addressed to the protection litigation judge of the court on which the place of residence of the adult to be protected depends.

Who shall I contact

Query Shape

The query shall include:

  • the medical certificate,
  • the identity of the person to be protected,
  • a statement of facts indicating the need to implement the measure.

Convocation of the person to be protected

The person to be protected is summoned by the judge.

The right to lawyer is mentioned in the notice of meeting.

The person to be protected may also apply to the court for the bearer to appoint a lawyer who will act within 8 days of his application.

Hearing of the protected or protected person

The hearing is not public.

The judge is obliged to hear or call the person to protect who may be accompanied by:

  • a lawyer,
  • or, with the consent of the judge, by the person of his choice.

After opinion of the doctor who established the medical certificate, the judge may decide not to hear the person. His decision is justified.

Pending judgement, the judge may temporarily place the person in safeguarding justice.

Please note

the person requesting protection is automatically heard.

Guardian designation

The judge appoints one or more guardians. The guardianship can be divided between a guardian responsible for the protection of the person (for example, in case of marriage) and a guardian responsible for the management of the property (for example, to make the tax declaration).

The guardian is chosen first and foremost from the relatives of the person to be protected. If this is not possible, the judge shall appoint a professional, called judicial officer for the protection of minorson a list drawn up by the prefect.

The judge may also designate subrogate in particular to monitor the acts of the guardian.

In the absence of a substitute guardian, the judge appoints an ad hoc tutor.

The guardian shall establish an management account.


In the event of a refusal by the judge to grant guardianship, only the person who filed the application for guardianship may appeal.

Any person entitled to apply for guardianship (parent, ally etc.) may appeal other decisions of the guardians' judge.

The appeal shall take place within 15 days following the judgement or the date of its notification for the persons to whom it is notified. The appeal shall be heard in a court of appeal but shall be made by statement made or sent by letter RAR: titleContent the court registry.

The guardianship (opening, modifying or ending of the measure) gives rise to mention carried on the margins of the protected person's birth certificate.

Disposition and administration

The judge authorises the disposition.

The administrative acts can only be done by the guardian.

Family decisions

The protected person performs certain acts alone strictly personal (example: recognise a child).

Guardianship does not result in deprivation of parental authority.

Renewal of an identity document

The adult under guardianship can apply for an identity card alone but guardian must be informed.

Marriage and Civil partnerships

The guardianship adult may marry or enter into a civil partnership without the permission of the guardian or the judge.

He must inform his guardian beforehand.


The adult in guardianship exercises his or her right to vote for which he or she cannot be represented by his or her guardian.

He or she may not give power of attorney to any of the following:

  • Agent in charge of its protection
  • Physical person who is a director or employee (employee or volunteer) in the host institution where he is
  • Home


The adult in guardianship alone takes decisions concerning his person to the extent that his condition allows it. He can therefore lodge a complaint alone.

Protected person's primary dwelling

Any decision concerning the principal dwelling of the protected person must be authorised by the judge.

Testament and donations

The adult can make his will alone with the authorisation of the judge. He can revoke it alone.

The guardianship major may make donations by being assisted or represented by the guardian, with the authorisation of the judge.

The protection litigation judge shall determine the duration of the measure.

It is limited to:

  • 5 years
  • or 10 years if the impairment of the person's personal faculties is clearly not likely to improve according to the data acquired by science. The judge may renew the measure directly if a medical certificate issued at the last renewal indicated that no improvement in the health status of the adult was possible. This renewal of the guardianship measure may not exceed 20 years.

The judge can lighten the measure at any time (for example, shorten the time limit).

The measure may end in particular:

  • at any time if the judge decides that it is no longer necessary, at the request of the adult or any other qualified person (for example, a parent, a ally etc.),
  • at the end of the fixed period,
  • if replaced by a curatelle,
  • on the death of the protected person.

Before the end of the legal protection measure, these persons may apply to the protection litigation judge for a review of the protected person (form cerfa n°14919*03). This request is to extend the duration of the measure.

Application to the Guardian Judge - Re-examination of a measure of judicial protection of a major

The application shall be addressed to the protection litigation judge of the court on which the place of residence of the adult to be protected depends.

Who shall I contact

The guardian's mission ends on the day the protected person dies.

The guardian must present the accounts within 3 months of death.

In case of death without inheritance the guardian must request the appointment of the Domain as trustee and forward all documents in his possession. This request is made to the court of the deceased's domicile at the time of his death.

Who shall I contact