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Guardianship and the so-called “amministrazione di sostegno” (i.e. a system for protecting persons whose faculties are temporarily slightly diminished, but not to the extent of requiring a guardian or supervisor”)

The Head of the Consular Office exercises the functions and powers relating to guardianship, curatorship, administratorship, trusteeship, public and private assistance, that the national laws entrust to the so-called Giudice Tutelare , i.e. the judge supervising cases concerning guardianship (Article 33 of Legislative Decree No. 71/2011), for minors, civilly disabled, debarred on grounds of mental incapacity, emancipated, and people subject to the so-called “amministrazione di sostegno”, who are resident in his/her district.

Guardianship is an institution designed to protect people deemed legally incapable of managing their own affairs. It entails the granting of a set of powers and duties to a guardian to provide for the needs of the legally incapacitated. Judicial guardianship is a regime established following a judgment or ruling of incapacitation pronounced by a court. Once the guardianship regime is established, the Giudice Tutelare appoints a guardian who represents the incapacitated person for all acts in civil life and administers his/her own assets.

Administratorship/trusteeeship is a form of assistance provided for by law in favour of partially incapable persons (incapacitated and emancipated minors). This regime is established ex officio following a judgment or ruling of incapacitation issued by a court. Unlike the guardian, the administrator/trustee has no legal representation for the person subject to this regime.

The so-called amministrazione di sostegno is a form of judicial protection provided for by law and designed to protect the interests of a person wholly or partially deprived of autonomy, with the least possible limitation of his/her capacity to act. A legal action for establishing the regime of amministrazione di sostegno may be lodged by the beneficiary, by his/her spouse, relatives within the fourth degree, in-laws within the second degree, cohabiting partner, guardian or administrator/trustee, by the Public Prosecutor or the people in charge of the social and health services involved in the care and assistance of the person in need. The legal action shall be filed with the Registry Office of the Giudice tutelare of the Court having territorial jurisdiction in relation to the residence or domicile of the beneficiary of the amministrazione di sostegno.

Main reference legislation: Articles 102-754 of the Civil Code; Law No. 6/2004.