Many people might not realize that parents or caregivers of children aren’t always automatically entitled to manage or receive a child’s money. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor child. A minor may need a guardian of their property in instances where the child received money such as:
- A life insurance policy
- An estate
- A court order for personal injury or other civil suit damages
- Other sources
Much depends on the amount received
If the amount is greater than $35,000, it is usually held with the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice (ASCJ), which holds or invests the money on the child’s behalf until the child reaches the age of majority. A court-appointed guardian of property can also hold the money for the child. There are certain instances when a parent or caregiver can request this money, but the request must be made to the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.
If the money is less than $35,000, it does not have to be deposited with the ASCJ. Instead, it can be paid to a parent if the child resides with him or her, to a person who has lawful custody of the child, or to the child if that child has to legally support another individual.
Court ordered guardianship of money or property
Only the court can appoint a guardian of property for a minor child. This person can be a parent, a caregiver or someone else appointed by the court. It sometimes can prove easier to have the money deposited to the ASCJ rather than have a guardian appointed.
There are often many complexities involved with guardianships in Ontario. Prior to applying for a guardianship of any kind, it may be wise to obtain legal advice. This can especially prove true when the guardianship involves a minor child.