A guardian can be appointed for a minor child, and care may be arranged for adults.

A guardian is the legal representative of a minor ward. Since 1992, adults in Germany can no longer be incapacitated and placed under guardianship. Instead, the court may order care.

For a minor child, a guardian is appointed by the court,

  • if both parents cannot or do not want to take sufficient care of your child's affairs. In this case, the parents would be deprived of parental authority.
  • if both parents with custody die or, if only one parent has custody, if he or she dies.
  • if it is not possible to determine who the parents of a child are.

A specific person, an association or the local youth welfare office can be appointed as guardian. The parents can determine by testamentary disposition to whom the children should come in the event of an early death. In all other respects, the guardian is appointed by the competent family court.

The guardian has the right and the duty to take care of the person and the assets of the ward, in particular to represent the ward. For example, he submits applications to authorities, conducts lawsuits, gives operational consent and manages his assets. The guardian also decides where the child lives and which school to attend.

The guardian requires the approval of the guardianship court for numerous legal acts. He must report regularly to the court and prove asset management.


Information on child and youth welfare institutions as well as on the youth welfare offices in Schleswig-Holstein can also be found on the website of the state government of Schleswig-Holstein.

  • Child and youth welfare

§§ 1773 et seq. civil code.

Related Links

  • §§ 1773 ff. BGB

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