When you have a child, you have both the right and the responsibility to look after this child. In civil-law notary’s terms: you have parental authority. What to do when neither parent is able to look after their underage child? Someone else will take over the care of your child, which is guardianship. If you have made no arrangements, the court will appoint a guardian.

Why arrange for guardianship?
This is not a topic that people like to dwell on, however, life can be unpredictable. In case you and your partner both pass away, you would most probably prefer to decide yourselves who will look after your children! Have you asked a relative to be your children’s guardian? That is fine, of course. However, nothing is legally validly organised without a last will. Civil-law notary Houtepen can arrange the guardianship for you in a will. The guardian does not necessarily have to offer your children a home, but is responsible for the finances and for proper care.

Testamentary administration
If you are married or you have entered into a civil partnership, both partners have parental authority. In case you are living together and you have not arranged anything, only the mother has authority. You may apply together for an annotation in the register of parental authority in order that you will both have authority of your child.

When you have parental authority, you also have to manage the finances of your minor child. In case you both die, the guardian will take over the financial administration of the property of your child. If you wish to deviate from this statutory provision, you must name an administrator in your will. In this will, you may also stipulate at what age the administration of your child’s property will end. Please note that some conditions apply to this. Notaris Houtepen will be happy to help you arrange guardianship and testamentary administration.