Guardianship & Conservatorship
Minnesota law provides for protection of persons who are unable to make decisions for themselves regarding their person and/or property. The inability to make decisions can come from many sources, such as disease, accident, disability, or age. Guardianship is a court order authorizing a qualified person to make certain decisions for an incapacitated person. The decisions a guardian can make are determined by the Court, but can include medical treatment, where someone lives, and with whom the incapacitated person may interact. Conservatorship is a court order granting a qualified person the decision to make financial decisions and to manage the finances of another. The following link provides a wealth of information about guardianships and conservatorships in Minnesota.
Establishing a guardianship or conservatorship requires action before the court. It is important to have an experienced attorney to assist you with the establishment and management of a guardianship and conservatorship.
Our office has assisted clients in establishing and managing guardianships and conservatorships for more than thirty (30) years. Our work includes brining guardianships and conservatorships on behalf of the County, as well as parents, children, siblings, and other interested parties.
The following are important considerations in establishing and maintaining guardianships and conservatorships:
- Guardianships and conservatorships can be issued on an emergency basis, as well as for long-term care. If the need for a guardian or conservator is urgent, an ex parte (without hearing) petition can be filed to provide immediate protection.
- If the person for whom a guardianship or conservatorship is sought is indigent (they lack sufficient income or assets as determined by the court), the cost for bringing the guardianship or conservatorship may be paid for by the government. Generally, anyone who is a recipient of income-based government support (Medical Assistance, cash assistance, or food assistance) will be deemed indigent. If the person is determined to be indigent by the court, our fees will be paid by the government, and the guardianship or conservatorship process can be completed at no cost to the person seeking the guardianship or conservatorship, or the person who will be protected.
- Other less restrictive alternatives to a guardianship and conservatorship may exist to provide protection and care. Existing powers of attorney or healthcare directives may allow a third party to provide assistance without the need for a guardian or conservator. Our office will explore other avenues of providing assistance if available.
- Family members as well as other qualified third parties may serve as a guardian or conservator. There is no license or other certification needed to serve as a guardian or conservator. All guardians and conservators must submit to a background check conducted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. If acceptable to the Court, any interested person may serve as guardian or conservator. Depending on the size of the protected persons estate, a bond may be required to serve as conservator.