Minnesota Conservator Powers.

Minnesota Conservator Powers

Minnesota Conservator Powers

Minnesota Conservator Powers over a Protected Person subject to a Conservatorship are identified in M.S. Section 524.5-417.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Limited

M.S. Section 524.5-417(a) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator shall be subject to the control and direction of the court at all times, and in all things,

M.S. Section 524.5-417(b) identifies that the court shall grant to a Minnesota Conservator only those powers necessary to provide for the demonstrated needs of the Protected Person.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Plenary or Limited

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c) identifies that a court may appoint a Minnesota Conservator if it determines that the exercise of some, or all, of the powers and duties listed in M.S. Section 524.5-417 is necessary to provide for the needs of the Protected Person.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Support

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(1) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has the power and duty to pay the reasonable charges for the support, maintenance, and education of the Protected Person in a manner suitable to:

  • the Protected Person’s station in life, and
  • the value of the estate.

However, nothing in M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(1) releases parents from any legal obligation for the support, maintenance, and education of their children.

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(1) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has no duty to pay for the reasonable charges for the support, maintenance, and education of the Protected Person out of the personal funds of the Minnesota Conservator.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Government Benefits

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(1) also identifies that wherever possible and appropriate, a Minnesota Conservator should meet the Protected Person’s requirements for support, maintenance, and education through governmental benefits or services to which the Protected Person is entitled, rather than from the Protected Person’s estate.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Debts

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(2) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has the power and duty to pay all of the lawful debts of the Protected Person.

M.S., Section 524.5-429(a) identifies the procedures which are involved in the determination and payment of the lawful debts of the Protected Person – also known as creditor claims – by the Minnesota Conservator, by providing in part as follows:

A conservator may pay, or secure by encumbering assets of the estate, claims

  • against the estate or
  • against the protected person arising before or during the conservatorship

upon their presentation and allowance
in accordance with the priorities stated in paragraph (d).

(a) Claims – defined

M.S., Section 524.5-102 defines the term “claims” against a Minnesota Protected Person, as follows:

Subd. 2. Claim.

Claim,” with respect to a protected person, includes

  • a claim against an individual, whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, and
  • a claim against an estate which arises at or after the appointment of a conservator, including expenses of administration.

(b) Conservator – defined

M.S., Section 524.5-102 defines the term “conservator” in Minnesota, as follows:

Subd. 3. Conservator.

Conservator” means a person who is appointed by a court to manage the estate of a protected person and includes a limited conservator.

(c) Protected Person – defined

M.S., Section 524.5-102 defines the term “protected person” in Minnesota, as follows:

Subd. 14. Protected person.

Protected person” means a minor or other individual for whom a conservator has been appointed or other protective order has been made.

(d) Manner of Presentation of Claims

M.S., Section 524.5-429(a) identifies the procedures involved in the presentation of creditor claims to a Minnesota Conservator, by providing in part as follows:

A claimant may present a claim by:

  1. sending or delivering to the conservator a written statement of the claim, indicating its basis, the name and address of the claimant, and the amount claimed; or
  2. filing a written statement of the claim, in the form prescribed by rule, with the clerk of court
    and
    sending or delivering a copy of the statement to the conservator.

Therefore, a claim includes – but is not limited to – any invoice presented to the Minnesota Conservator for payment with respect to goods or services provided to the Protected Person.

However, since a Minnesota Conservator may not be immediately provided with written notice of a claim by a creditor which has filed a claim with the court, the Minnesota Conservator must periodically check the court record in order to determine whether any claims have been filed with the court.

(e) Effective Date of Presentation of Claims

M.S., Section 524.5-429(b) identifies the effective date of presentation of a creditor claim to a Minnesota Conservator, by providing in part as follows:

A claim is deemed presented on

  • receipt of the written statement of claim by the conservator or
  • the filing of the claim with the court,

whichever occurs first.

Either:

  • the delivery of a creditor’s claim to a Minnesota Conservator, or
  • the filing of a creditor’s claim with the court,

will start the running of a limitations period during which a claim can be disallowed.

(f) Consequences for Failing to Deny an Invalid Claim

M.S., Section 524.5-429(b) identifies the consequences for failing to effectively disallow an invalid creditor claim which has been timely presented by a creditor, by providing in part as follows:

A presented claim is allowed if it is not disallowed by written statement sent or delivered by the conservator to the claimant within 60 days after its presentation.

Therefore, if a timely presented claim is not disallowed by the Minnesota Conservator within 60 days after its presentation – by providing a written Statement of Disallowance to the claimant – the claim may be required to be paid by the Conservator.

(g) Disallowance of Claims

The entire process relating to the presentation and payment of claims by a Minnesota Conservator is very similar to the process used for the presentation and payment of claims by a Personal Representative for a deceased person’s estate.

If the Minnesota Conservator intends not to pay any timely presented claim – the Minnesota Conservator must take affirmative action to disallow the claim.

The Minnesota Conservator is not allowed to just ignore the claim.

(h) Petition to Direct the Payment of a Claim

M.S., Section 524.5-429(c) identifies that any creditor whose claim has been disallowed, or whose allowed claim has not been paid by the Minnesota Conservator, may petition the court for payment of a claim – after a hearing.

(i) Priority for the Payment of a Claim

If the Protected Person’s assets are running out, the Minnesota Conservator must be careful with respect to the payment of all claims – because M.S., Section 524.5-429(d) identifies a priority scheme for the payment of claims.

Claims having a higher statutory priority must be paid before claims having a lower statutory priority.

(j) Income Taxes

The Conservator is responsible for filing income tax returns on behalf of the Protected Person.

IRS Form 56 will have to be filed with the IRS in order to notify it of the fiduciary relationship between the Conservator and the Protected Party.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Support of Spouse and Dependent Children

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(2) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has the power and duty to pay:

  • all reasonable charges for support, maintenance, and education of the Protected Person’s spouse and dependent children, and
  • upon order of the court, such sum as the court may fix as reasonable for the support of any person unable to earn a livelihood – who is legally entitled to support from the Protected Person;

Asset Expenditures

The Conservator may not spend the Protected Person’s money for expensive or unusual purposes – such as an automobile purchase, vacation trip, investments, loans, or substantial gifts – without first getting written approval from the Probate Court judge.

The Protected Person’s money belongs to the Protected Person, and the Minnesota Conservator may use it only for the Protected Person’s normal care and maintenance, unless the judge orders otherwise.

The Minnesota Conservator must save all receipts and canceled checks relating to the Conservatorship funds which have been spent – and file them with the Court as a part of the Annual Account.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Possess and Manage the Estate

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(3) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has the power and the duty to:

possess and manage the estate,

collect all debts and claims in favor of the protected person, or, with the approval of the court, compromise them,

institute suit on behalf of the protected person and represent the protected person in any court proceedings, and

invest all funds not currently needed for the debts and charges named in clauses (1) and (2) and the management of the estate, in accordance with the provisions of sections 48A.07, subdivision 6, 501C.0901, and 524.5-423, or as otherwise ordered by the court.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Possess and Manage Real Property

A Minnesota Conservator must arrange for the care and maintenance of all real property owned by the Protected Person, including lawn maintenance, snow removal, trash removal, and maintaining heating services.

When the Minnesota Conservator has been appointed, he or she must:

  • Identify all parties having access to all real property owned by the Protected Person;
  • Determine whether locks should be changed;
  • Determine whether the real property is adequately insured;
  • Determine whether the insurance premiums been paid;
  • Determine whether all real estate taxes have been paid; and
  • Determine the location of any abstract of title, or other title evidence.

Minnesota Conservator Investment Powers – Standard of Care

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(3) identifies that the standard of a fiduciary shall be applicable to all investments made by a Minnesota Conservator.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Contracts

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(5) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has:

the power to approve or withhold approval of any contract, except for necessities, which the protected person may make or wish to make;

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Public Assistance

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(6) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator has:

the power to apply on behalf of the protected person for any assistance, services, or benefits available to the protected person through any unit of government.

Revocation of a Power of Attorney

M.S. Section 524.5-417(d) identifies that a Minnesota Conservator shall have the power to revoke any durable Power of Attorney the Protected Person may have executed, by providing in part as follows:

The conservator shall have the power to revoke, suspend, or terminate all or any part of a durable power of attorney of which the protected person is the principal with the same power the principal would have if the principal were not incapacitated.

Priority of a Minnesota Conservator’s Powers

M.S. Section 524.5-417(d) identifies that in the event a Minnesota Conservator fails to revoke any durable Power of Attorney executed by the Protected Person, the actions or decisions of the Conservator shall take precedence over those of the Attorney in Fact, by providing in part as follows:

If a durable power of attorney is in effect, a decision of the conservator takes precedence over that of an attorney-in-fact.

 Minnesota Conservator Powers – Real Property

M.S. Section 524.5-417(c)(4) identifies that where a Protected Person has inherited an undivided interest in real estate, the court, on a showing that it is for the best interest of the Protected Person, may authorize

  • an exchange or sale of the Protected Person’s interest, or
  • a purchase by the Protected Person of any interest other heirs may have in the real estate,

subject to the procedures and notice requirements of section M.S. Section 524.5-418.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Sale of Real Property

M.S. Section 524.5-418 identifies the general powers of a Minnesota Conservator with respect to the sale of Minnesota real property.

Minnesota Conservator Powers – Sale of Personal Property

M.S. Section 524.5-313(c)(3) identifies that a Minnesota Guardian – not a Minnesota Conservator – is responsible for a Ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.

A Minnesota Conservator, if one has been appointed, is responsible for all other personal property.

A Minnesota Guardian may not sell or dispose of the Ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles, or other personal effects without giving prior written notice to:

  • the Ward, and
  • all interested persons identified on the Petition which commenced the Guardianship.

The notice must inform such persons of the right to:

  • object to the disposition of the property – within ten days of the date of mailing, and
  • petition the court for a review of the Minnesota Guardian’s proposed actions.

Notice of any such objection must be served by mail or personally on the Minnesota Guardian and the Ward, unless the Ward is the objector.

A Minnesota Guardian served with notice of an objection to the disposition of the Ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles, or other personal effects may not dispose of such property unless the court approves the disposition – after a hearing.

Conclusion – Minnesota Conservator Powers

If you require assistance with respect to any Minnesota Conservator issues, please contact attorney Gary C. Dahle, at 763-780-8390, or gary@dahlelaw.com.

Copyright 2016 – All Rights Reserved

No claim to the text of statutory provisions, or judicial decisions.

 Gary C. Dahle – Attorney at Law

2704 Mounds View Blvd., Mounds View, MN 55112

Licensed in Minnesota and North Dakota

Phone:  763-780-8390   Fax: 763-780-1735

gary@dahlelaw.com

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Legal Disclaimer

Information provided herein is only for general informational and educational purposes. The laws relating to Minnesota Conservators involve many complex legal issues. If you have a specific legal problem about which you are seeking advice, consult with legal counselGary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, is licensed to practice law only in the State of Minnesota, and in the State of North Dakota, in the United States of America. Therefore, only those persons interested in matters governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota should consult with, or provide information to, Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, or take note of information provided herein.

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Minnesota Guardianship and Conservatorship Links

Minnesota Conservatorships for Adults – https://dahlelaw.com/minnesota-conservatorships-adults/

Minnesota Guardianship and Conservatorship Statutes – Minors: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=524.5-101

Minnesota Guardianship and Conservatorship Statutes – Adults: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=524.5-601

Pacer Center: http://www.pacer.org/

National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: https://alzfdn.org/