Minnesota Guardianship | What is a legal guardian?

Minnesota Guardianship to MinorGuardianship in Minnesota

In certain situations, a court may appoint a person to make personal decisions for a person incapable of making their own personal decisions. These people are known as guardians and their position is naturally, referred to as a Minnesota guardianship. They provide a valuable service. This article intends to define a guardian, their duties, what they can do on behalf of a person, and what the limitations are.

Guardians Roles in Minnesota

There are different types of guardian roles within Minnesota, depending on what service the guardian is providing. The definition of guardian in Minnesota is “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 . . . .”Minn. Stat. § 524.5-102 subd. 5. A guardian makes personal decision on behalf a ward – generally thought to be the incapacitated person. Minn. Stat. § 524.102 subd. 17. Another type of guardian is a conservator. A conservator relates more to estate planning. Minnesota statutes defines conservator as a person who manages a protected person’s estate. Minn. Stat. § 524.5-102 subd. 3.

The court imposes certain procedural requirements upon a guardian. For example, the guardian must submit what is known as a Personal Well Being Report to the Court on the ward’s health, mood, recovery, or other matters. Minn. Stat. § 524.5-316 (a). Similarly, although the guardian may generally make decisions regarding the ward’s assets, he or she must provide at least ten days notice to the ward before doing so. Min Stat. § 524.5.313(c)(3).

Law on Guardians in Minnesota

In re Guardianship of Jeffrey DeYoung, 801 N.W.2d 211 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011) provides an overview of the guardian’s duties. The mother appealed the district court’s refusal to remove the guardian in charge of her adult son, who was severely disabled. Id. at 212. The ward’s father and the guardian opposed the proposed removal. Id. at 213. In addition, the mother sought to assume the guardian role upon removal of the ward’s current guardian. Id.

Evidence indicated the guardian restricted the mother’s visitation time after observing possible abuse of the ward. Id. The mother’s primary contention was that the guardian, in placing the ward in a supervised home designed for disabled people, improperly delegated her duty as a guardian third parties. Id. at 217–18.

The Court of Appeals agreed. First, the Court of Appeals noted Minnesota prevents “any individual of agency which provides residence, custodial care . . .or other care or service for which they receive a fee.” Id. at 217 (citing Minn. Stat. § 524.5-309 (2010)). Because a guardian enjoys duties and power given it to it by the judicial branch, a guardian cannot delegate powers to a third person. Id. Although the guardian may adopt recommendations from health care professionals or other experts, the guardian cannot completely delegate their authority. Id. at 218.

In re DeYoung provides a nice distinction on the guardian’s duties to a disabled in healthcare, financial, or other matters. They may obtain information from third parties regarding appropriate courses of action, but they may not wholly delegate the duties of a guardianship to another person.

Minnesota Guardianship Lawyers

Contact Flanders Law Firm LLC today for your free initial consultation on legal guardianship in Minnesota.  We are happy to answer any questions you may have.  Call the attorneys at 612-424-0398.

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