What is guardianship?
The Guardianship Board has the power to appoint a guardian to take care of adults over the age of 18 who are mentally incapable of making their own decisions about their personal affairs, financial matters, or medical or dental treatment.
A Guardianship Order confers on the guardian the power to hold, receive or pay a specified monthly sum (currently maximum at HK$15,000) on behalf of the mentally incapacitated person for the maintenance or other benefit of him/her. A Guardianship Order given in respect of a mentally incapacitated person for the first time will have effect for up to one year. A Guardianship Order which is renewed or further renewed has effect for a period not exceeding three years from the date of the renewed order.
Am I (as parent) guardian of my dependent?
As parent, you are the guardian of your dependent children only until they reach the age of 18. When your dependent with intellectual disability reaches 18, and when the occasion arises for a decision about his personal, medical and financial affairs needs to be made, you or a relative may apply to the Guardianship Board to appoint a guardian to make such decisions for him. However, the Guardianship Board will only consider applications if a need to make such decisions arises, so it is not possible for you to appoint a guardian as soon as he turns 18, in the absence of such occasions. In addition, guardian would only make decisions on behalf of persons with intellectual disability but will not assist persons with mild or moderate intellectual disability with making their own decisions.
What are the powers of the guardians?
The guardian can make decisions on where the person with intellectual disability lives and what medical treatment he receives. The guardian also has power to handle money for him/her, but the law limits the amount the guardian can handle for his/her maintenance to HK$15,000 per month. This amount is the median monthly earnings released by the Census and Statistics Department, and is adjustable according to the General Household Survey. This means that the guardianship order cannot be used to manage a flat for your dependent adult to live, or to pass your wealth to him.
Last updated: March 2016
Disclaimer: The information available on this website is for preliminary reference only and should NOT be considered as legal advice. You should consult your own lawyer if you want to obtain further information or legal assistance concerning any specific legal matter.