Minnesota Guardianship and Conservatorship Laws and Procedures

Minnesota Guardianship and Conservatorship Laws and Procedures

What is a Guardianship or Conservatorship in Minnesota?
A court action in which a person files a petition with the court requesting that someone be appointed to act as a decision maker (Guardian or Conservator)  for another person/vulnerable adult (ward). The court basis this decision on clear and convincing evidence that the protected person or ward has been found to be unable to make necessary decisions o his or her behalf. The court calls this a finding of incapacity.

When Should a Guardian or Conservator be Appointed?
Guardianship or conservatorship should only be sought if the ward’s individual judgment or decision making is a significant threat to the person’s welfare. If it it is determined by clear and convincing evidence that the person subject to these proceedings is unable to make responsible personal decisions and is unable to meet his or her own needs, he or she will be deemed a ward and may be eligible for to be protected by a guardian or conservator.

What does Incapacity Mean?
Minnesota Statute defines incapacity, generally, as a person, other than a minor, that is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding to make or communicate responsible person decisions, such that he or she is unable to meet personal needs for medical care, nutrition, clothing, shelter, or safety.

What is the difference between Guardian and Conservator?
Generally, a guardian is someone who has personal custody and care of individual and a conservator is someone who manages the protected individual’s (ward) finances.

How much power and authority does a Guardian or Conservator have?
The guardian or conservator must use his or her authority only as necessary to provide necessary care and services.  This authority can be limited by court order. This is to make sure that the guardian or conservator will not be overly protective or restrictive of the ward’s rights.

If you have questions or have concerns about a potential vulnerable adult, contact Keirnes Law at 612-805-0144



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