Guardianship law regulates assistance for adult people who are no longer able to manage their legal matters independently due to mental illness or a physical, mental or emotional disability. (see § 1896 BGB)

Many adults, especially older people in Germany, need support in a wide variety of areas of life, such as asset management or housing matters, because they are no longer able to cope with the situation themselves due to psychological or physical deficits. For such people, a legal guardian should be appointed under guardianship law, who usually takes care of the legal affairs of the person concerned as the legal representative.

Beispiele für die Aufgabenfelder eines Betreuers im Betreuungsrecht sind:

  • Residence determination
  • Representation before authorities, courts and other public institutions
  • Wealth concern
  • Healthcare
  • Telecommunications and postal traffic
  • Housing matters


The scope of the guardian’s activities is determined by the responsible guardianship court in guardianship law. The well-being of the person being cared for should always be at the forefront of guardianship law; they should therefore decide and act independently as far as possible. For this reason, the person being cared for under guardianship law generally remains legally competent; only in exceptional cases is it stipulated in guardianship law, for their protection, that they require the consent of the guardian for certain areas of responsibility. (see § 1903 BGB). Furthermore, under guardianship law, a guardian may not be appointed against the free will of the person concerned.

Systematically, guardianship law represents a part of family law. The content is regulated in Sections 1896 ff. BGB. The procedure in guardianship law is essentially regulated in Sections 271 ff. of the FamFG.

On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about guardianship law.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of guardianship law: