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Family empowerment

Verified 16 décembre 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Family empowerment allows a relative (descendant, ascendant, brother or sister, spouse or spouse, spouse, partner of Pacs) to seek the authorization of the judge to represent a person who cannot manifest his will.

It allows the relatives of a person unable to manifest his will to represent him in all acts of his life or only some, depending on his condition.

The family authorization is ordered by the judge only when necessary. This is the case where the usual rules of representation (e.g. judicial authorization for the purpose of representing the spouse) do not sufficiently ensure the interests of the person.

Family empowerment does not fall within the scope of judicial protection measures. Unlike pension schemes safeguarding justiceguardianship or curatelleonce the person has been designated to receive the family authorization, the judge will not intervene.

  FYI : family empowerment does not terminate proxies issued by the person to be protected before the judgment.

Protected persons

Any person who can no longer provide for his or her interests on his or her own because of a medically observed deterioration of his or her mental faculties or of his or her bodily faculties which would prevent him or her from expressing himself or herself may be entitled to a family empowerment measure.

Eligible persons

One ascending, a descendant, a brother or sister, a spouse, a partner of Pacs or a spouse may be entitled.

The person applying for authorization must apply to the judge, directly or through the public prosecutor, for authorization to exercise the family authorization on the person who is unable to protect his interests.

The authorized person shall exercise his duties free of charge.

Medical Certificate

To apply for a family authorization, you must first obtain a detailed medical certificate from a list drawn up by the public prosecutor.

The doctor may seek the advice of the attending physician of the person to be protected.

The list of competent doctors may be obtained at the court of the domicile of the person to be protected, from the registry of the court of protection disputes.

  FYI : some courts publish lists of qualified physicians on their sites.

Request to judge

The application must contain the following documents:

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

Cerfa n° 15891*03 - Ministry of Justice

  • Proof of the relationship between the applicant and the person to be protected (copy of family records, Pacs agreement etc.)
  • Copy of the identity document and proof of domicile of the person wishing to perform the duties of authorized person
  • Letters from family members accepting this appointment
  • In case of will to sell a property, at least 2 notices of value of this property

Acceptance model for family members accepting the authorization or appointment of the guardian or curator

Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Dila) - Prime Minister

The file must be sent to the protection litigation judge of the court of the domicile of the person to be protected.

Request statement

The judge shall hear the person to be protected and examine the application.

However, he may, by a specially reasoned decision and on the advice of the doctor who examined the person, decide that there is no need to proceed with his hearing if it is likely to harm his health or if he is unable to express himself.

The judge ensures that the relatives (whose existence he knows at the time he decides) agree with the measure or, at least, do not oppose it.

Decision of the judge

The judge shall decide on the choice of the authorized person(s) and the extent of the authorization by ensuring that the proposed arrangement is in accordance with the interests of the person concerned in terms of property and personal matters.

The judge may at any time replace a measure of judicial protection with a measure of family empowerment after having obtained the opinion of the person in charge of the measure of protection. Such replacement may be made subject to the fulfillment of the conditions of family empowerment, including the accession of the relatives.

Entitlement may be general or limited to certain acts.

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General Entitlement

If the interest of the person to be protected so requires, the judge may decide that the authorization is general. The person entrusted with the authorization can thus perform all the categories of acts (administrative acts and disposition of property).

In this case, the judge shall fix the duration of the authorization without exceeding 10 years.

He may renew the authorization for the same period on the basis of a detailed medical certificate.

Where the alteration of the personal faculties of the person to be protected is not likely to improve, the judge may, by specially reasoned decision and on the assent of a registered doctor, renew the measure for a longer period not exceeding 20 years.

  Please note : a general family authorization shall be indicated in the margin of the birth certificate.

Authorization limited to one or more acts

Entitlement may relate to the following acts:

  • Administrative acts or disposition of property, however, acts of disposal free of charge (donations) may be made only with the authorization of the protection litigation judge
  • Acts relating to the person himself

In this event, the authorized person shall carry out his duties in accordance with the provisions relating to guardianship and curatelle..

The protected person may continue to perform acts not entrusted to the authorized person.

  Warning : the person entitled may not perform an act for which he or she is in opposition to the protected person unless, exceptionally, the judge so authorizes because the interest of the protected person so requires.

In addition to the death of the person in respect of whom the family authorization was issued, the authorization shall terminate in the following situations:

  • Placement of the person concerned under the protection of justice, guardianship or guardianship
  • Final judgment of release issued by the judge at the request of one of the relatives of the protected person or of the public prosecutor, where the conditions of the authorization are no longer satisfied or the family authorization is detrimental to the interests of the protected person
  • Failure to renew after the expiry of the deadline
  • After the completion of the acts for which the authorization had been issued