Curatorship: definition

Updated on Wednesday 7 October 2020

Curatorship is one of the legal protection systems for vulnerable people, through the supervision and protection of the court. Curatorship is a legal measure which intends to protect an adult who needs to be assisted during certain actions in life. It is less burdensome than guardianship, but more protective than the protection of the court. It concerns people retaining part of their autonomy.

There are three forms of curatorship: simple curatorship, arranged curatorship and reinforced curatorship. Therefore, the curatorship adapts on a case-per-case basis.

If you know someone who needs protection, this article will help you understand the guidelines of this protection measure.


What is the use of curatorship?

Curatorship serves to protect a person who can no longer carry out actions alone. Without being incapacitated, the latter may need to be advised or monitored on an ongoing basis, through the important acts of civilian life. This procedure is less restrictive than the one of guardianship.

Let us imagine that your parent isn’t self-sufficient due to an elderly age, if you find that he needs help and assistance with certain daily life actions, you can use the curatorship system.

The person under curatorship does not completely lose his autonomy, which is why he retains the possibility of making certain decisions. The latter can carry out administrative acts alone, which means everyday actions such as choosing the place of residence, etc.

On the other hand, some actions require informing the curator: to get married, to recognize a child, etc. Regarding acts of disposition, they require the assistance of the curator. Acts of disposal are acts that make an impact on the person's assets: a real estate sale, a real estate purchase, a loan, etc.

Decisions relating to the main accommodation must be authorized by the judge.

Let us imagine that you are the curator of a loved one, he can still perform all the daily life actions, on the other hand, if he wishes to sell real estate or make donations, you must assist him in the process.

The curator can also take protective measures by informing the judge .

However, the rights and powers of the curator vary depending on the form of curatorship.

What is the procedure for a curatorship?

Different people have the possibility of requesting a placement under curatorship for a person who needs protection:

  • the person who needs to be protected
  • this person’s partner, civil union partner, cohabitant,
  • a parent or ally,
  • a loved one,
  • his representative or guardian,
  • the public prosecutor at the request of a third party such as social or medical agents.

If you wish to make a request for a loved one, you must send certain documents with your request to the protection litigation judge (curator judge) of the court of the domicile concerning the person who needs to be protected.

  • the cerfa form,
  • a copy of the birth certificate and the ID of the person who needs to be protected,
  • a copy of the applicant's identity document,
  • the medical certificate stating the degree of loss of autonomy of the adult who needs to be protected.

Other documents or information may be useful such as:

  • the family composition of the person to be protected, their living conditions, assets, autonomy,
  • proof of family relationship between the applicant and the person to be protected,
  • a copy of the ID document and the domicile of the person who wishes to obtain the family empowerment, to become curator,
  • letters from family members who accept this appointment.

Good to know: The procedure is identical regardless of the type of curatorship or for a guardianship or justice protection request.

While investigating the case, the judge hears the person who needs to be protected and possibly the applicant and their potential lawyers. He can also request for a social inquiry.

During the hearing in the presence of the person to be protected and the applicant, the judge decides to:

  • accepts the curatorship request
  • refuse the request
  • choose another legal measure of protection such as guardianship.

If accepted, the judge appoints a curator (or more), chosen as a priority among the relatives of the person who needs to be protected. If this is not possible, a professional, legal representative for the protection of adults, is appointed as the curator.

If he opts for more than one curator, one may be responsible for the protection of the person and the other for te management of his assets. However, they can also jointly exercise their mission.

The role of the curator depends on the form of curatorship. The curator must be accountable for the performance of his task for the protected person and towards the judge.

The judge can also appoint a subrogated curator to supervise the actions carried out by the curator or replace the latter, in the event of a conflict of interest. In the absence of a subrogate, the judge has the possibility of appointing an ad hoc curator for certain acts.

In the event of the opening or refusal to terminate a curatorship, the protected person or any person authorized to request the curatorship, may appeal. This must be exercised within 15 days of the judgment or the date of notification, through a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, sent to the court office...

In case of refusal to implement the curatorship, only the applicant can contest the judgment.

What is the duration of curatorship?

Curatorship is in place for a maximum of 5 years, like guardianship. This can be renewed for the same period or for a longer period, but which should not exceed 20 years and only if the the person's faculties cannot be remedied. Moreover, it is required to have the doctor's assent.

The protective measure may end:

  • at any time if it is no longer necessary, at the request of an adult or of any person authorized to request a curatorship, after medical advice,
  • at the end of the set period in the absence of renewal,
  • whether a tutorship replaces curatorship.

A request for reviewing the measures can be implemented, at any time from the protection litigation judge (guardianship judge). In fact, simple curatorship can become modified and adapted curatorship can be turned into reinforced curatorship or vice versa.

Let’s imagine that you notice a deterioration in the state of health and autonomy of your parent, you can request to review, so that you can strengthen the measure, which is already in place.

Simple curatorship

Simple curatorship is the most flexible.

The protected adult can continue to manage their day-to-day business alone: administrative and conservatory acts. On the other hand, his curator assists him with acts of disposal such as the sale or purchase of real estate.

Let’s imagine that you are the curator of one of your parents, with simple curatorship, he can still manage his money, but must ask for your assistance while applying for a bank loan.

Reinforced curatorship

Strengthened curatorship is the strongest measure.

With enhanced curatorship, the curator has a more important role since he collects the resources of the person, who is placed under curatorship. He is also responsible for settling the expenses.

However, the person can retain the possibility of taking some actions alone, through the agreement of the curator.

Let's imagine that your parent wants to retain some daily autonomy, you have the possibility of allowing him to do some daily activities by himself, such as going to get his bread, his newspaper, etc.

The curator must address a management report every year, to the director of court registry services.

This measure is slightly less restrictive than the one of guardianship.

Arranged curatorship

Adapted curatorship is a measure which is adapted to each situation. It is an intermediate measure between simple curatorship and a re-enforced one. Moreover, the judge lists out the acts that the person under arranged curatorship can carry out alone and those for which he must be assisted by the curator.