Becoming a guardian or conservator of a needy individual in Minnesota is a rewarding, yet formidable responsibility. The guardian or conservator is charged with the obligations of providing for every aspect of care for the needy individual, called a ward. Becoming a guardian or conservator involves a lengthy legal process, and an attorney from Segal Duffek Moen PLLC can provide assistance and legal representation throughout your tenure.

Guardian or Conservator Appointment Process

In order to become appointed as another person’s legal guardian or conservator, you must follow a set process. You will need the services of an attorney who is experienced in this area of law and routinely handles guardian or conservator cases. The process involves investigations and deliberations by the probate court in the county where the ward will maintain their residence.

Petition to the Court

The process begins when you submit a legal petition to become a guardian or conservator to the probate court. This petition must include the identity of the proposed ward, your relationship to the proposed ward and proofs of their incapacity necessitating a guardian or conservator. The court clerk will then set a date for a hearing where the court will examine the evidence of the person’s incapacity and your qualifications for becoming their guardian or conservator.

Proof of Incapacity

The probate court will require proof of the person’s incapacity. This can include the person’s own testimony, or inability to provide such testimony, as well as medical records and testimony from medical and mental specialists. The court will consider all the evidence and render a judgement, including whether the incapacity is only temporary or is likely to be permanent.

Qualifications for Guardianship/Conservatorship

The probate court will generally prefer to appoint a close relative as an incapacitated person’s guardian/conservator, such as a spouse, parent, sibling or child. If such a suitable person is not available, the court will consider other relatives. The court may also appoint an attorney experienced in such matters to a conservatorship if no close family is available and a neutral party is desired.

Generally, a guardian or conservator must be a legal adult with a good record and no bankruptcies within the last seven years. The court may also have other requirements you must meet in order to qualify as a guardian or conservator. It is not uncommon for a conservator who is to handle financial matters to be required to obtain a bond.

Minnesota Guardianships and Conservatorships

Becoming a guardian or conservator for a loved one in Minnesota is possible and Segal Duffek Moen PLLC can help with encouragement, counsel and legal support throughout your service. Call us today at 952-358-7400 with all your questions regarding guardians and conservators in Minnesota.