An unaccompanied minor must be appointed a legal representative or guardian in Estonia who takes care of the child's well-being and represents them in the necessary actions (e.g., applying for benefits, issuing a bank card, deciding on treatment, etc.). Until a guardian is appointed, the guardian's duties are performed by the local municipality where the child is registered (in the absence of registration, the local municipality in which the child lives).
The guardian is appointed by the court. For this purpose, an application must be submitted to the court; see the guardianship application form. Since the language of court proceedings and administration is Estonian, it is possible to obtain help from local government specialists when applying for guardianship.
If guardianship is requested in the framework of the procedure of preliminary legal protection, the court usually makes a decision on the appointment of guardianship within five days. After receiving the order, the guardian can already officially represent the child. The person appointed as guardian is fully responsible for the child, including raising them, making decisions related to them, and caring for and representing their person and property.
The guardian can apply for family allowances for the child, e.g., child allowance and allowance for the child under guardianship.
Last updated: 20.03.2023