We advocate for a balanced bill around administration
Advocaat.be is concerned about a proposed bill on receivership. Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has made this proposal to crack down on a small group of negligent, excessive and fraudulent administrators. While we understand that the bill aims to stop abuses, we have a few concerns.
At Advocaat.be, we believe the bill should be balanced and work for everyone. In other words, that means that guardianship should be tailored to different situations. There should also be a clear approach against abuse, and administrators should be fairly compensated for their work.
To provide effective protection to the most vulnerable in our society, we must ensure tailoring and fairness and realistic remuneration. We are ready to work together for a better and fairer bill that puts the best interests of the protected at the centre."
Not only older people are under guardianship
The bill seems to be based on the idea that only elderly people in rest homes with few financial resources are under guardianship, but this is not so. Half of them are under 50, and in a quarter of the cases, they are even under 30.
They have complicated situations and need help with their money matters. They rent a house, need internet, go on holiday, drive a car, move in together ... In addition, among the younger people who come under guardianship, we also see many people with mental health problems who may or may not be in a very precarious situation: they may be taking medication and can cause problems just like anyone else. In all these situations, as a guardian, you are often the first point of contact. The files require a lot of attention and also administrative follow-up.
So we want the bill to take into account all these different situations.
A fair approach to abuse
Abuse must of course be addressed, but we must be careful. People should not simply accuse administrators without evidence. It is important that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. So we ask that allegations be thoroughly investigated before any action is taken.
No national list but training for professional administrators
Instead of proposing a national register for administrators, we at Advocaat.be think that lawyers who have undergone special training should be given certificates. That way we can be sure they are fit for the job and everyone can find a professional administrator. We can therefore make this list consultable on this website.
A realistic fee
The proposed fee of €900 per year for administrators lacks realism, partly because of the complexity of cases. This amount means that a professional administrator gets 75 euros per month for all costs and hours to ensure good supervision.
A good and fair fee system is important for us to ensure quality services. We have always been and remain willing to discuss this with the minister.
Customisation is necessary
Family members can sometimes be good guardians, but it has to suit the situation. Unfortunately, there are sometimes cases where the family does not always have the best interests of the person under guardianship at heart. We want the judge to have the freedom to choose a professional administrator if that is better for the person who needs help.
At Advocaat.be, we think it is important that vulnerable people are well protected. We are keen to work with the government to produce a good and fair bill, putting the interests of those in need of help first.
Want to know more about this topic?
When adults are unable to manage, permanently or temporarily, their personal interests (e.g. claiming divorce, acknowledging a child) or property interests (e.g. selling property, taking out a loan) by themselves due to their state of health, an administrator may be appointed.
When adult persons are unable to manage, permanently or temporarily, their personal or property interests themselves due to their state of health, an administrator may be appointed.
The justice of the peace can organise the guardianship your request yourself, at the request of an interested person close to you or at the request of the CPAS or the public prosecutor.