Under Monegasque law, the legal administration under judicial supervision is a measure for the protection of minors. It is set up in the unfortunate event of the death of one of the parents of a minor child, in favour of the surviving parent, or in the event of the withdrawal of parental authority from one of the parents. In such cases, the guardianship judge exercises ongoing control over the legal administration.

In practice, the legal administration of a minor's assets under judicial supervision is a complex exercise which raises many questions from the very first day of administration, particularly in the frequent case of cross-border situations. Difficulties arise, for example, with decisions relating to portfolios of securities and the acceptance, on behalf of a minor, of estates consisting of assets situated abroad.

Unlike French law, which reformed and simplified the legal protection of minors through a so-called "simplification law" of 16 February 2015, and Swiss law, which provides for a high degree of management autonomy and a "circumstantial" control over legal administration, Monegasque law has retained the cumbersomeness of the judicial control over all acts of disposal.

Consequently, in managing the minor's assets, the legal administrator must make a delicate distinction between acts of administration, that he or she may carry out alone, and acts of disposal that are subject to the prior authorisation of the Guardianship Judge.

The law is laconic and there is little published case law in Monaco to enable a clear distinction between acts of disposal and acts of administration. Nevertheless, a case law of the Monaco Court of Appeal dated 24 October 2016 specifies the principle according to which "acts of disposal must be considered to be those which engage the patrimony in a lasting and substantial manner".

In practice, the distinction between acts of administration and acts of disposal needs to be analysed on a case-by-case basis. Given the multitude of situations that may arise for the legal administrator, it is essential to consult your lawyer for personalised advice and assistance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.