The exclusion from the legal administration of assets bequeathed or gifted to minors
The administration of the minors’ assets is generally entrusted by law to the parents. This administration is known as the legal administration of the minor’s assets. There is however an important exception to this principle.
The Monegasque law allows any person to exclude from the legal administration the assets that he or she donates or bequests to a minor, provided that they are administered by a third party, designated by will or deed of donation, whose powers can be defined by the same deed.
By giving priority to the will of the donor or testator as to the methods of administration of assets transmitted to a minor beneficiary, the law admits that a third-party administrator may have wider powers than a legal administrator or guardian, and even be exempted from the supervision or the authorisation of the guardianship judge to which the legal administration remains subjected.
The practical importance of such legal provision is indisputable.
The clause of exclusion from the legal administration is of particular interest in the increasingly frequent context of family breakdown and that of stepfamilies.
It approaches the notion of trust, well-known in common law, which enables an individual (the Settlor) to entrust to a third party (the designated administrator), by dispossession (gift or will), the management of the interests of a person that he or she wishes to protect (the minor).
Furthermore, such provision allows one to organize the administration of the minor’s assets in a professional manner, in the interest of the minor.
By Christine Pasquier-Ciulla and Regina Griciuc