Importance Of Planning the Perwalian (Legal Guardianship)

Legal Guardianship Singapore

Legal Guardianship Singapore by Tri Djoko Santoso

Tri Djoko Santoso


Founder, LN Consulting

Tri Djoko Santoso CFP®, AEPP® is the founder of a leading financial planning school in Indonesia. His school is a business partner of EPPL which administers the AEPP® training in Indonesia. He is a Precepts Estate and Succession Practitioner.


It is imperative for every family in Indonesia to understand the importance of planning the Perwalian. In most family situations, children’s lives and assets are affected when they lose one or both parents. How Perwalian regulation is applied in Indonesia should be considered for Indonesian families when they have assets not only in Indonesia but globally.


What is Perwalian?

Perwalian or guardianship serves 2 purposes. Firstly, for the supervision of minors (under 18 years old including children who are still in the womb) who are not under the control of the parents, and secondly, for the management of the children’s assets. Due to the minors’ incapacity in taking legal action, they may be vulnerable to the actions of their Perwalian.

The emergence of the Perwalian is caused by the termination of a marriage arising from death of one or both parents, the divorce of the parents or a court decision regarding the revocation of parental power which will have legal consequences for both the husband and wife, especially the interests of the neglected child.


Who Is Eligible for The Appointment of a Perwalian?

The Indonesian government has issued a revised regulation no. 29 of 2019 concerning the terms and procedures for appointing a Wali (guardian). This revision includes the arrangements for the appointment of a Wali, procedures for the appointment and termination of a Wali, guidance and supervision of child guardianship, as well as reporting and documentation. The aim is to protect the child’s rights and meet the basic needs of the child as well as managing the child’s assets.

To be appointed as a Wali, the parties in the following order are prioritized:

  1. Children’s family (blood related family up to the third degree*) or

  2. Paternal or maternal such as uncle or aunt or

  3. Other people or

  4. Legal entity, for example, technical implementing units of ministries/ agencies.

* Third degree is a common term used in Indonesia for Perwalian which means descendants up to three generations; for example, father and child are first degree, grandfather and grandchild are second degree.


They should meet some basic requirements to be appointed as a Wali such as being physically and mentally healthy; well behaved, economically stable, sharing the same religion as the child and have obtained a court order. The Perwalian will end when the child attains the age of 18 years.


What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Wali?

The duties and obligations of a Wali include taking care of the child’s assets and be responsible for any losses caused by poor management, the maintenance and education of the minor, representing the child in all civil actions, carrying out the recording and inventory of the child’s assets and be accountable for the discharge of duties as a Wali .


Balai Harta Peninggalan

Balai Harta Peninggalan (abbreviated as BHP) is the guardian supervisory board in Indonesia. BHP as the supervisory guardian board will provide legal consideration in terms of rights and BHP is a Unit Pelaksana Teknis (Technical Implementation Unit) under the Directorate of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia. In essence, the duties of BHP are: “representing and managing the interests of people (legal entities) who because of law or legal decisions cannot carry out their own interests based on applicable laws and regulations”.


Role of Trusts

Trust is a primary tool as part of financial planning for Indonesian families with offshore assets. Trusts can be considered as an alternative to the Wali to protect and preserve children’s assets in Singapore. A Trust can continue to function even when they are over 18 years old. It helps every parent to have the peace of mind to ensure that their children and assets in Singapore are safe for the longer term.

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