Legally speaking, “guardian” refers to”
- A “guardian of the person” (known as “custody” in Ontario legislation) or to
- A “guardian of property” (responsible for handling the child’s assets).
Minor by definition is a child who is under the age of 18.
A parent is the default “guardian of the person” of his or her minor child in Ontario. Even so, a parent is NOT the default “guardian of property” of his or her minor child’s property. A parent can obtain this authority on behalf of a child by statute, court order, or other documents, such as a will.
Money may be owed to a child
- under a court order for damages;
- in an estate (with or without a will);
- under a life insurance policy where the child has been named as the beneficiary;
- under an RRSP or another pension plan;
- under some other death or accident benefit.
The monies must be paid into court via sending them to the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice if an adult person does NOT have the legal authority to receive the monies on behalf of the minor.
At Topmarke Attorneys, we will help you throughout the entire adoption or guardianship process. You may need help to find the right agency, especially if you are a non-traditional family (some adoption agencies are religious in nature and will only adopt to heterosexual married couples). We can also help you pursue an independent adoption and can assist in interfamily adoptions, such as adopting your niece if something were to happen to her parents.