Guardianship of Adults
Where an Alderney resident has become unable to manage their own affairs, an Application may be made to the Court of Alderney to appoint a Guardian. The application needs to be made in the place where the person is currently living. This means that if they are in long-term care off island, the Application is made to the Court in the place that they are being cared for.
The Applicants (Guardians) need to submit an Application [74kb] to the Court.
This Application gives the Court information in relation to the person, including details of the Family Council, the extent of their estate and medical evidence. The Family Council consists of at least 3 people, who are the nearest relatives, or close friends if there are insufficient relatives. There may be less than 3 people if there are few close family or friends but the Court will require evidence of this.
The Court requires proof that the Family Council, with the agreement of the patient's doctor, consider that the Guardianship application is in the best interests of the person and this is decided by the Court Hearing.
The Court usually appoints two Guardians, so that there is cover for absences, illness, etc. Ideally the Guardians need to be Alderney residents, for practical reasons. One of the Guardians may be a professional based in the Bailiwick e.g. an Advocate or an accountant.
At the Court hearing the Applicants (Guardians) are usually represented by an Advocate. http://www.guernseybar.com
The Family Council can appear in person or by Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney must be granted to an Advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey. The Advocate does not have to attend Court but must provide a certificate as set out in Guernsey Practice Direction 2/2002.
The doctor usually attends Court for the Hearing or submits an Affidavit (a sworn statement) setting out that he or she is the patient's doctor and for how long this has been the case, and stating the nature of the illness and that they are unable to manage their affairs. The statement should be dated to be within 6 weeks of the Court hearing. The doctor cannot be part of the Family Council.
Following a grant of Guardianship, if someone subsequently becomes able to conduct his own affairs, an application may be made for a revocation of the order. Once appointed, Guardians need to keep accounts and to be accountable to the Family Council. If the person owns real property, the Guardians cannot sell that property without further specific permission of the Court by making a separate Court Application for permission to sell.