Assets of a minor - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Assets of a minor

When a minor is awarded more than $10,000, the Public Trustee protects their assets.

In Alberta, anyone under the age of 18 is a minor.

Parents and guardians can make personal decisions for minors about things like education, medical care and social activities. However, they don’t automatically have the power to receive and manage money or property for a minor.

Show Answer When would a minor be awarded assets?

A minor could receive assets, such as cash or property, through a:

  • personal injury settlement
  • lottery or another game of chance
  • life insurance policy
  • Victims of Crime compensation
  • Worker’s Compensation claim
  • will that isn’t drafted properly (e.g. it doesn’t name someone to manage the inheritance until the minor turns 18* or it isn’t signed correctly)
  • relative that passes away without a will
  • fatal accident settlement
  • pension plan
  • registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

* It may be longer than age 18, depending on the will, the court order or the settlement document.

Show Answer What if the amount is more than $10,000?

There are two options.

The Public Trustee:

  • receives the money
  • invests it until the minor turns 18*
  • communicates with the parent or guardian to determine how the funds should be used in the best interests of the minor
  • sends a cheque for the remaining money to the minor when they turn 18*

Or

The parent or guardian:

  • goes to court and asks to be appointed as the minor’s private trustee
  • manages the minor’s assets
  • may have to report regularly to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee about how the money is being spent and invested
  • provides a financial report to the minor when they turn 18*

* It may be longer than age 18, depending on the will, the court order or the settlement document.

Show Answer What if the amount is less than $10,000?

Parents and guardians can manage the funds for the minor.

The organization transferring the funds must protect themselves by having the parent or guardian sign a document acknowledging that they are responsible to manage the funds in the “best interest of the minor”. That means they must put the child’s needs first.

There are 2 exceptions. The Public Trustee manages the money, even if it’s less than $10,000, if it comes from:

  • Victims of Crime compensation
  • Worker’s Compensation – only if the parents are divorced or separated
     

Show Answer What’s an example?

When they write a will, a parent will often say they want to leave their assets to their child/children.

The Public Trustee protects and manages the money for the child if:

  • the parent dies before the child turns 18, and
  • the will doesn’t name someone to manage the funds for the child until they turn 18

The Public Trustee works with the child’s guardian to decide whether some of the money should be used now to help care for the child. The rest of the money is invested. When they turn 18, the child receives a cheque for the remaining funds, plus interest.

Show Answer How does the Public Trustee get involved?

When a minor is awarded cash or property, usually a lawyer or an insurance company is involved. They contact the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Contact your local office

Show Answer How does the Public Trustee manage the funds?

The Public Trustee pools all of the money it manages into one fund and invests it.

It’s 100 per cent guaranteed, so the minor’s money is protected. They are also paid interest.

Managing the minor’s funds involves working with the parent or guardian to discuss how the funds should be used to help the minor.

For example:

  • if the minor has been injured, the money may be necessary for therapy
  • if the minor’s parents have passed away, their guardian may need help with day-to-day living expenses
     

Show Answer Is there a cost?

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee charges the following fees to manage the assets of a minor. They may change without notice.

On occasion, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee may also need to hire agents such as lawyers and accountants.

File opening fee
$75

Fees on receipts
Fee on each receipt received on behalf of a trust

  • 1.5% up to a maximum of $1,000 per receipt
     

Annual administration fee for care and management of funds received
Assessed for each complete year of management on the average of the cash balance at the beginning and end of the year from the anniversary of the first receipt date:

On balances below $5,000

  • Nil

On balances $5,000 up to $10,000

  • $50

On balances over $10,000 up to $50,000

  • $100

On balances over $50,000 up to $100,000

  • $175

On balances over $100,000

  • $300

There is no fee charged on:

  • initial receipt of funds 1.5% to a maximum of $1,000
     

Fee on revenue receipt
Fee on interest on funds held by the Public Trustee:

  • 5%
     

Fee on disbursements
$7.50 per payment

There is no fee charged on:

  • purchase of investment made by the Public Trustee
  • final distribution and taxes paid
     

Other charges
Fee on postage, photocopies and faxes:

  • 2% of administration fees
     

G.S.T.

On or after January 1, 2008:

  • 5% of the total fee (including the postage fee)
     

Income tax fees

Terminal T1 Return:

  • $25

T1 Return with installments:

  • $50

Group T3 Return:

  • $25

T3 Return:

  • $40

Non-resident Group T3 Return:

  • 20% of gross income up to a maximum of $125

GST:

  • 5% of the total income tax fee

Note:

  • fees will be prorated for a partial year
  • there is no fee charged on:
    • purchase of investment made by the Public Trustee
    • final distribution and taxes paid
Created:
Modified: 2015-05-29
PID: 18040

Contact this service

1-877-427-4525 (toll-free)

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)