Minn. Stat. §524.5-118 requires that proposed guardians and conservators must undergo a background study by Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) prior to their appointment. Following appointment, guardians must update their background studies every two years. Background studies generally include criminal history data from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and data regarding whether the person has been a perpetrator of substantiated maltreatment of a vulnerable adult or minor. The background study also addresses state licensing agency data. The DHS determines whether the proposed guardian or conservator has ever held a license professional fiduciary that was conditioned, suspended, revoked or canceled.

The Court can appoint a guardian and conservator before a background study is completed if it is in the best interest of the Ward/Protected Person. However, the background study must be completed as soon as possible after appointment. This is typically no later than 30 days after appointment. In many cases, the Court will schedule the guardianship/conservatorship case for a review hearing to monitor the completion of the background study.

The fee for conducting a background study must be paid by the guardian or conservator. However, if the case is proceeding In Forma Pauperis, the fee will be waived. The Guardian and Conservator can be reimbursed the background study fee by the Ward or protected person if there is an estate.

Parent(s) or guardian(s) of a proposed Ward or Protected Person who has a developmental disability, generally do not need to undergo a background study if they raised the Ward in the home until the Petition is filed. However, counsel for the ward or protected person may request that the background study be completed.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services developed a standard form to be used to request a background study. You have the right to be informed of the result of the background study and obtain from the Court copy of the results. Minnesota Statues provide that you have the right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of any information obtained in the background study. Background studies are intended to safeguard the rights of the Ward or Protected Person.

– JSB