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Guardianship and continuing power of attorney

Identifying the situation of a close person

What can I do if a person close to me is no longer able to manage their finances?

There are different options for managing matters on behalf of another person. You should consider whether the assistance now provided by you or other persons close to you is enough or are other arrangements needed.

You can act on behalf of a close person in the following ways:

  • powers of attorney (banking and official matters)
  • Suomi.fi e-Authorizations
  • bank account user rights 
  • continuing power of attorney.

For more information about different ways to manage the affairs of a close person, see the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.Opens in a new window.


The appointment of a guardian is the last-resort option to organise the management of another person’s finances. Before applying for guardianship you should consider whether there are any other ways to manage the affairs of a close person. A guardian can only be appointed if that is the only way to manage the affairs of the person in question. 

Updated: 21/2/2024

When is a guardian needed?

A guardian may be needed if 

  • a person close to you cannot look after their own interests or manage their finances and property because of such factors as serious illness or disability.
  • if the matters of a person close to you cannot be managed in any other way.

For example, payment reminders or enforcement letters may be a sign that a person close to you needs help. 

A guardian is not needed if the affairs of the person close to you can be properly managed in other ways. Other ways include a power of attorney or agreeing on bank account user rights. 

Updated: 18/1/2022

Which matters are outside the scope of guardianship?

The guardian can deal with the matters that are specified in the guardianship document. The guardian cannot decide on such matters as the client’s relationships with other people, will or place of residence.

There are misconceptions about guardianship. For example, a person close to you does not automatically need a guardian when they move to a nursing home. The need to access information about the health of a close person is not a justification for applying for guardianship either. 

A guardian cannot use the MyKanta service on behalf of an adult client. If you want to use the MyKanta service on behalf of a person close to you, the person in question must provide you with an authorisation in Suomi.fi e-Authorizations. 

Updated: 3/11/2023

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