Citizens Advice Bureau Jersey

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Extent: Jersey
Updated 15 July 2019                                  

Words you may need to know

Minor - a child who has not reached the age of majority or considered to be an adult under the law. The age of majority is 18 years

Deceased - dead

Assets - things the person owned. It can include shares, property, land, jewellery , paintings, cars etc

Paternal - fathers side of the family

Maternal - mothers side of the family

Constitute - create or establish

Summoned - called upon

Tuteur/ Tutrice - the person ( male / female) who will be the head of the Tutelle and look after the minor's affairs

Electeurs - the seven people who have called for the Tutelle to be formed

Inventory - a list of all assets

Reality  - property such as houses, land etc

Jointly and severally - as a group or individually

Prevail - be the stronger, win

The age of majority - the age they are considered to be an adult, in Jersey it is 18 years old

Conserve and augment - keep safe and add to

Distributions from the assets - use money from the assets / estate

Income - money coming in or being generated by the assets

Maladministration - Incompetent  or dishonest handling of the affairs

Discharge - cancel

Real property - this is houses, land and certain leases

Transaction - a business deal or way of doing business

Inherits - to receive something when someone dies


Under Jersey Law (Loi (1862) sur la Tuteur) (‘the Law’) anyone under the age of 18 years of age are regarded as minors.  A minor is not considered to be capable of looking after their own affairs and an adult is appointed to do that until they are 18 years old. Their affairs might be looking after property, arranging for school fees to be paid etc.

This situation can happen when a child loses their parents and the child inherits assets from the parents or when a minor receives assets, either property or money, by way of a gift.

Following the death of a parent, normally the seven closest relatives, usually four from the paternal side and three from the maternal side, make an application to the Royal Court to constitute a Tutelle.  Where there are not enough relatives, then neighbours and friends, and sometimes legal advisers, may be summoned to form part of the Tutelle. The Tutelle can be formed by agreement, if one of the minor’s parents is to be the Tuteur.  If not, then an Order of Justice needs to be prepared setting out the reasons why a Tutelle is needed.  The Viscount will then serve a Summons on all the Electeurs to appear in the Royal Court for the formation of the Tutelle.  These seven people (called ‘the Electeurs’) are collectively known as ‘the Tutelle’.  One of them is chosen in Court to be the head of the Tutelle and that person is then known as the Tuteur (or Tutrice if female).

The Tuteur must live in Jersey and, within three weeks of being appointed, must make an inventory of all the minor’s personal assets and a statement of all their realty. 

This is entered in a book and signed by the Tuteur and the Electeurs.  The Tuteur has care of all the property and is obliged to consult the Electeurs about all matters concerning that property and the Electeurs are jointly and severally liable for any losses.  If the Electeurs do not agree on a course of action then the majority decision will prevail.  Annual Accounts need to be prepared and approved by the Electeurs.  When the minor reaches the age of majority then the Tuteur must pass all the Tutelle records and assets over to the minor who has attained the age of majority.

The Law requires a Tutelle to protect the financial interests of the minor and the oath taken by the Electeurs before the Royal Court when they are sworn in is taken to conserve and augment the property of the minor better than the Tuteur would look after his or her own property.  It should be noted that the Tuteur is allowed to spend part, or even all, of the income of a minor for the minor’s benefit on such things as clothing and essential requirements. The Tuteur is also entitled to consider the minor's educational and on a majority decision, make distributions from the assets to cover school fees etc.

The Tuteur is able to charge for their services a fee of up to 5% of the gross income on the minor’s property, with the approval of the Electeurs. This is apart from any legitimate costs incurred in managing the assets.

If there are any suggestions of maladministration of a Tutelle, the Court, in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction and to avoid the frustration of justice, can discharge the Tutelle and appoint the Viscount as the administrator of the affairs of the minor.  The Court could also authorise the Viscount to appoint an appropriate professional (of the Viscount’s choice) to examine or look at how the Tutelle has been administered.

If the minor inherits real property, a Tuteur can apply to sell it with the permission of the Royal Court.  The Court, in that event, will appoint two Jurats to consider the matter and the Court will then decide whether the transaction can go ahead and, if so, on what basis.