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Office of the Children's Lawyer
393 University Avenue, 14 th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 1W9
Tel. (416) 314-8000
Fax (416) 314-8050
This brochure is not intended as a substitute for legal advice from your lawyer. It has been prepared to assist parents, caregivers of children and members of the legal profession. This brochure describes guardianship of property of minor children in Ontario only; each province of Canada has its own laws about children's property.
In its legal sense, "guardian" refers to
1. a "guardian of the person" (described as "custody" in Ontario legislation) or to
2. a "guardian of property" (responsible for managing the child's assets).
A child who is under the age of 18 years is called a minor.
In Ontario, a parent is automatically the "guardian of the person" of his or her minor child. However, a parent is not automatically the "guardian of property" of his or her minor child's property. A parent can only receive such authority on behalf of a child by statute, court order or other document, such as a will.
Money may be payable to a child
Where an adult person does not have the legal authority to receive the monies for the minor, the monies must be paid into court by paying the monies to the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice.
595 Bay Street, Suite 800,
Toronto, ON M5G 2N3
Tel. (416) 314-2477,
Fax (416) 314-2481
A child's money may be paid into court by filing an affidavit under
An affidavit is a legal document that is sworn or attested to be true. The money is held by the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice.
The following are some of the benefits of paying the child's money into court:
As of May 1, 2000, the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice charges fees. No fee is charged upon payment of money into court for a minor. A fee of 3% is charged on investment income credited to the minor's account and on all payments out of court. In addition a care and management fee is charged.
1. If the amount of money or the value of property does not exceed $10,000 and is NOT payable under a court judgment or order, it may be paid or transferred to
The person receiving the money or property on behalf of the child has the same responsibility as a guardian of property for its care and management (section 51 of the Children's Law Reform Act ( CLRA)).
2. Alternatively, an application may be made to Court for a guardianship order which authorizes the guardian to manage the child's property. The Court makes the guardianship order under section 47 of the CLRA.
Who may bring a guardianship application? A parent or any other person may do so. Subject to court order or agreement, parents of a child are equally entitled to be appointed as guardians; parents are preferred over non-parents. More than one guardian may be appointed and multiple guardians are jointly responsible (section 48 CLRA). Where the amount of money is large, the court may require a trust company or other independent professional to act as guardian.
Which Court can make a guardianship order? The Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice have jurisdiction to make guardianship orders for minors' property (section 18(1) CLRA).
What are the responsibilities of a guardian of property? A guardian of property is responsible for the care and management of the minor's property (section 47(2) CLRA). The guardian is required to
What factors does the court consider? The court considers all the circumstances, including 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 and preferences of the child where they can be reasonably ascertained (section 49 CLRA).
Is a bond required? The court shall require the guardian to post a bond, but the court may dispense with a bond where the applicant is a parent of the child (section 55 CLRA). Usually, the court will not dispense with a bond where the applicant does not have assets in excess of the amount of the child's funds.
Who represents the interests of the minor child? The OCL is required to be served with a guardianship application to represent the interests of the minor (section 47 CLRA).