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Guardianship and continuing power of attorney

  1. Preliminary questions
  2. Take these steps
    1. Prepare for the future with a continuing power of attorney
    2. Preparing a continuing power of attorney
    3. Content of a continuing power of attorney document 
      1. What should be stated in the continuing power of attorney document?
      2. 1. Start with the details of the granter and donees 
      3. 2. Describe the financial affairs that the donee is entitled to manage 
      4. 3. Describe your housing-related matters and the matters concerning the care you are receiving that the donee has the right to manage 
      5. 4. Add enforcement condition 
      6. 5. Describe the situations where you would need a secondary or substitute donee
      7. 6. Decide who has the right to access your personal details 
      8. 7. Decide how the activities of the donee are supervised
      9. 8. You and two qualified witnesses must sign the continuing power of attorney document 
      10. Tip: You can also give instructions to the donee 
      11. Please note this if you live abroad: Remember to state in your continuing power of attorney document which law should apply
    4. Keeping and validating the continuing power of attorney document
    5. Cancelling or changing the continuing power of attorney
    6. Identifying the situation
    7. Starting to use the power of attorney
    8. Managing matters with a continuing power of attorney
    9. End of the continuing power of attorney
    10. Identifying the situation of a close person
    11. Applying for guardianship
    12. During the guardianship
    13. Guardianship ends or the guardian is replaced
    14. When does a child need a guardian?
    15. Duties of a child’s guardian
    16. You guardianship duties are ending
    17. Help with managing finances
    18. Applying for a guardian for yourself
    19. If a guardian is appointed to me
    20. Changing guardians or termination of guardianship
  3. Checklist

Content of a continuing power of attorney document 

What should be stated in the continuing power of attorney document?

The contents of the continuing power of attorney are stated in the continuing power of attorney document. This page describes what details must be included in the document in most situations. If you feel that you need help in preparing the document, contact an expert for advice. 

There are no specific templates for a continuing power of attorney document that could be used in all situations. Under the ‘Example’ menus, you can find model texts that you can use to prepare a continuing power of attorney document for your needs. Note that the texts given as examples may have to be adapted for specific situations.

The obligatory content of the continuing power of attorney document and some of the optional additions are listed below. Read more about the obligatory content on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services AgencyOpens in a new window..

You can enter the details of your continuing power of attorney in the order shown on this page.

Updated: 5/5/2023

1. Start with the details of the granter and donees 

First name the document as a continuing power of attorney. Enter your own details (details of the granter) in the document. Enter then the details of the donee.

If you have appointed replacement substitute donees and secondary donees, also enter their details in the document. Give the names, dates of birth and addresses for all of the above.

Read what is meant by donee, substitute donee and secondary donee. 

Updated: 5/5/2023

2. Describe the financial affairs that the donee is entitled to manage 

You can give the donee the right to manage all your financial affairs or only specific matters. Financial affairs mean such matters as banking and insurance as well as sales and purchases of assets.

The donee may only manage your real property matters or give gifts on your behalf if this is explicitly stated in the continuing power of attorney document.

Updated: 5/5/2023

4. Add enforcement condition 

You must state in the continuing power of attorney document that it will enter into force if you can no longer manage your own affairs because of illness, weakening of mental capacity or any other similar reason.

Your continuing power of attorney document is valid only if this is stated in the document.

Updated: 5/5/2023

5. Describe the situations where you would need a secondary or substitute donee

Appoint a secondary donee and a substitute donee. Think about the situations where you might need them and select the persons for the tasks accordingly.

  • The secondary donee may manage your affairs if the person you have selected as the donee does not accept the task or becomes permanently incapable of acting as your donee.
  • The substitute donee may manage your affairs if the donee is temporarily incapable of performing the donee’s task (for example, because of an illness). The substitute donee can also manage your affairs in situations where your usual donee would be disqualified from doing so. Such a situation may, for example, arise when the donee is a member of your family and would like to sell your home to another member of your family. For this reason, at least one of the substitute donees should be a person outside your family.

You can appoint several secondary donees and substitute donees. However, you can prepare a continuing power of attorney document even if you are not able to appoint any secondary donees or substitute donees. Read more about disqualification and the donees’ tasks on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.Opens in a new window.

Updated: 5/5/2023

6. Decide who has the right to access your personal details 

Decide whether the donee has the right to disclose your details to outsiders. The donee may not disclose to outsiders any such information about you that comes to their knowledge as part of their task. This means, among other things, that the donee may not even disclose information about you to your close family members. If you want to give the donee the right to disclose information about you to your close family members, this must be explicitly stated in the continuing power of attorney document.

Also decide what information the donee may access. Not even the donee has the automatic right to access information about your personal matters (such as matters concerning your health). The donee may only access such information when you are unable to understand the significance of the matters. However, you may specify in your continuing power of attorney that the donee has the automatic right to access information about you.

Updated: 5/5/2023

7. Decide how the activities of the donee are supervised

If you have authorised the donee to manage your financial affairs, the donee must submit a list of your assets to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency at the start of their mandate. If you want the Digital and Population Data Services Agency or any other party to supervise the activities of the donee, this must be explicitly stated in the continuing power of attorney document.

When the mandate of the donee ends, the donee must submit the final statement to the party that will manage the granter’s assets in the future. The donee’s final statement must include various details, such as the assignor’s assets, liabilities and transactions. However, you can exempt the donee from the obligation to prepare the final statement. In that case, you must state this in the continuing power of attorney document.

Read more about the supervision of the donee’s activities on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.Opens in a new window.

Updated: 5/5/2023

8. You and two qualified witnesses must sign the continuing power of attorney document 

Enter the place, date and your signature at the end of the continuing power of attorney document.

The document must also be signed by two qualified witnesses. The qualification requirement means, for example, that your spouse or close relative or the spouse or close relative of the donee may not act as a witness. The continuing power of attorney document is valid only if both witnesses are qualified.

Both witnesses must be present when you sign the continuing power of attorney document. You do not need to disclose the contents of the document to the witnesses. They only need to know what the document is about.

Read more about disqualification on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.Opens in a new window.

Updated: 5/5/2023

Tip: You can also give instructions to the donee 

You can attach instructions to the continuing power of attorney document specifying how you would like the donee to manage your affairs. The instructions may concern such matters as the sales or use of your assets. For example, you may specify the minimum price that should be paid for your car.

As the donee must act in accordance with the instructions, they should be entered in a separate document.

Updated: 5/5/2023

Please note this if you live abroad: Remember to state in your continuing power of attorney document which law should apply

If you live abroad permanently or for part of the year when preparing your continuing power of attorney, it is important that you state which law should apply when the rights specified in the continuing power of attorney document are used. If you want that Finnish law should apply, you should state this in the continuing power of attorney document.

Sometimes it may be a good idea to grant two continuing powers of attorney: one in accordance with Finnish law (for matters that must be managed in Finland) and a separate continuing power of attorney in accordance with the law of a foreign country (for matters that must be managed in that country). Before granting a continuing power of attorney in accordance with the law of a foreign country, you should contact an expert familiar with the law of that country.

Updated: 31/1/2024

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