A Minnesota guardian is a person who is either appointed or confirmed by the Court to make certain decisions for another – known as a “ward.”

Minnesota Guardian

Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 5 defines the term “guardian” as follows:

Guardian” means a person who has qualified as a guardian of a minor or incapacitated person pursuant to appointment by a parent or spouse, or by the court, and includes a limited, emergency, or temporary substitute guardian but not a guardian ad litem.

Wards

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 17 defines the term “ward” as follows:

Ward” means an individual for whom a guardian has been appointed.

General Powers of a Minnesota Guardian

After appointment, the guardian will typically have decision making authority with respect to the ward, including:

  • determining where the ward will live,
  • making medical decisions for the ward, and
  • the training and education of the ward.

Minnesota Conservator

A conservator is a person who is appointed by the Court to manage the financial affairs of another – known as a “protected person”.

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 3 defines the term “conservator” as follows:

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

Minnesota Protected Persons

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 14 defines the term “protected person” as follows:

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

General Powers of a Minnesota Conservator

A conservator typically has the power to:

  • enter into contracts for the protected person,
  • pay the protected person’s bills,
  • invest the assets of the protected person, and
  • perform other financial functions for the protected person.

Minnesota Guardian and Conservator

Some minors or incapacitated persons may need both:

and could therefore be both a ward, and a protected person.

Guardianship Types

A Minnesota Guardian can be appointed for either:

  • an incapacitated person – whether a minor or an adult.

Minnesota Guardian for a Minor

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 10 defines a “minor” in the following manner:

Minor” means an unemancipated individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

Minnesota Guardian for an Incapacitated Person

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 6, defines an “incapacitated person” as follows:

Incapacitated person” means an individual

  • who, for reasons other than being a minor, is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and
  • who has demonstrated deficits in behavior which evidence an inability to meet personal needs for medical care, nutrition, clothing, shelter, or safety, even with appropriate technological assistance.

Manner of Appointing a Minnesota Guardian

Guardians can either be:

  • appointed by the Court, or
  • appointed by a parent or a spouse – subject to court confirmation.

Parent as a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-102, Subd. 12 defines a “parent” in the following manner:

Parent” means a parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

Duration of Appointment for a Minnesota Guardian

Guardianships can be established in Minnesota on either a temporary, or on an emergency, or a continuing basis.

Guardianships for Minors

Methods of Appointing a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-201 identifies three methods which may be used in order to obtain the appointment of a guardian for a minor, by providing as follows:

A person becomes a guardian of a minor

Manner of Appointing a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-202(a) identifies the manner in which a parent can appoint a guardian for a minor child – even a child not yet born or adopted – by providing as follows:

A guardian may be appointed

  • by will,
  • by designation of a standby guardian pursuant to chapter 257B, or
  • by other signed writing executed in the same manner as a health care directive under chapter 145C

by a parent for any minor child the parent has or may have in the future.

Term of Appointment for a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-201 identifies that a continuing guardianship for a minor has an indefinite term, by providing in part as follows:

The guardianship continues until terminated, without regard to the location of the guardian or minor ward.

However, a guardianship for a minor will terminate when the minor attains the age of 18.

Guardianships for Incapacitated Persons

Methods of Appointing a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-301 identifies three methods by which a guardian may be appointed for a incapacitated person, by providing as follows:

A person becomes a guardian of an incapacitated person by:

Parent as a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-302 identifies the manner in which a guardian may be appointed by a parent for an unmarried incapacitated child, by providing as follows:

A parent, by will or other signed writing executed in the same manner as a health care directive pursuant to chapter 145C, may appoint a guardian for an unmarried child who the parent believes is an incapacitated person, may specify the desired limitations on the powers to be given to the guardian, and may revoke or amend the appointment prior to court confirmation.

Term of Appointment for a Minnesota Guardian

M.S. Section 524.5-301 identifies that a continuing guardianship for an incapacitated person has an indefinite term, by providing in part as follows:

 The guardianship continues until terminated, without regard to the location of the guardian or ward.

Appointment Documents

1.   Appointment of Minnesota Guardian by Will

A guardian may be appointed by a parent for an unmarried minor or incapacitated child pursuant to a Will provision similar to the following:

If the surviving parent of a child of mine is unable or unwilling to act as Guardian, or if there is no surviving parent, I nominate [Guardian] as testamentary Guardian of my minor children.

2.    Appointment of Minnesota Guardian by Other Signed Writing

A guardian may be appointed by a parent for an unmarried minor or incapacitated child pursuant to some writing other than a Will – which is executed in the same manner as a health care directive, and which contains a provision similar to the following:

I hereby appoint the following person – upon my death or incapacity – as Guardian of my children who are then either minors or incapacitated, to exercise all available powers of a guardian under Minnesota law:

Name of Guardian: ______________________

Relationship of Guardian to me: ________________

Address of Guardian: _____________________

Venue – Location of the Court

Guardianship for a Minor

M.S. Section 524.5-108(a) identifies the proper county courthouse where any guardianship proceeding for a minor shall be held, by providing in part as follows:

Venue for a guardianship proceeding for a minor is in the county of this state in which the minor resides or is present at the time the proceeding is commenced.

Guardianship for an Incapacitated Person

M.S. Section 524.5-108(b) identifies the proper county courthouse where any guardianship proceeding for an incapacitated person shall be held, by providing in part as follows:

Venue for a guardianship proceeding for an incapacitated person is in the county of this state in which the respondent resides and, if the respondent has been admitted to an institution by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, in the county in which that court is located.

Venue for the appointment of an emergency or a temporary guardian of an incapacitated person is also in the county in which the respondent is present.

Multiple Counties

M.S. Section 524.5-108(d) identifies the proper county courthouse where any guardianship proceeding for a minor shall be held if actions are brought in more than one Minnesota County, by providing in part as follows:

 If a proceeding under this article is brought in more than one county in this state, the court of the county in which the proceeding is first brought has the exclusive right to proceed unless that court determines that venue is properly in another court or that the interests of justice otherwise require that the proceeding be transferred.

Transfer of Venue to a Different County

M.S. Section 524.5-108(e) identifies that the county courthouse where any guardianship proceeding for a minor may be held can be transferred from one Minnesota County to another, by providing in part as follows:

If it is in the best interest of the ward or protected person, the venue may be transferred to another county.

Upon the filing of a petition by any interested person, or upon the court’s own motion, the court shall fix a time and place for the hearing on the transfer.

Notice must be given to interested persons, the district court of the county to which venue is proposed to be transferred, and any other party the court designates.

Upon proof that a transfer of venue is in the best interest of the ward or protected person or the ward or protected person’s estate, and upon settlement and allowance of the conservator’s accounts, if any, to the time of the hearing, the court shall transmit the entire file to the court of the other county, where all subsequent proceedings must be held.

Conclusion – Minnesota Guardian

Minnesota guardians can either be appointed by the Court, or be appointed by parents – subject to court confirmation.

However, the court documents required in order to obtain the appointment of a person as a guardian for a minor can be challenging.

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

Copyright 2018 – 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 guardianships 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/