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What is Guardianship?

Where an individual (referred to as the "Patient") is unable to manage his or her own affairs due to infirmity or by virtue of being a minor it is necessary for a person or persons to be appointed as a Guardian to manage their affairs. This may be due to an individual no longer being mentally capable or due to illness. The Guardian is often a close relative but can also be a friend or professional person. More than one Guardian can be appointed, if required.

Applications to the Court must be supported by a "Family Council". This is normally made up of three of the closest blood relatives to the patient. The Family Council will be required to attend Court with the Applicant if they are able to. If a member of the Family Council is unable to attend on the Court date they can appear via a sworn Power of Attorney which bestows power to either another member of the Family Council or an Advocate to appear on their behalf. Appropriate medical opinion will also need to be provided by a medical professional in the form of an Affidavit. The Doctor swearing the Affidavit must have seen the Patient not more than six weeks prior to the Court hearing. Details of what the Affidavit should contain are attached hereto in Practice Direction No.4 of 2009.

The appointment of a Guardian does not give the Guardian power to sell the individuals' realty (houses and land). For the Guardian to do so, it is necessary to make a further application to Court seeking permission to sell the patient's realty.

Guardianships are heard on a Thursday morning following Contract Court at 9.45am or, if later, at the end of Contract Court. If the proposed guardianship is not agreed by the patient's family the Court may adjourn the matter to be heard at a later date.


What do I need to do?

Copies of the forms can be downloaded under the Forms link in the left hand column or can be obtained from the Greffe.

Enclosed within this is Form 1 which will need to be completed and submitted to the Royal Court together with an affidavit sworn by the Patient's GP. The documents must then be submitted either in person at the Royal Court counter or via the post, along with payment of the relevant fees. An explanation of the fees is also enclosed.

Five copies of the paperwork must be filed with the Greffe by 4pm on the Monday preceding the Court. The Court date is to be specified by the Applicant when the paperwork is submitted.