GUARDIANSHIP & CONSERVATORSHIP

Compassionate.  Experienced. Advocates.

When someone is unable to manage their affairs, the court can name a guardian and/or conservator to help that person.  However, that process can be complicated.  In general, a guardianship concerns the personal well being of the individual.  A guardian is appointed powers such as determining abode, applying for government benefits, exercising supervisory authority, and taking care of personal effects.  A conservator, in general, manages someone’s finances.  Typically a person should have in excess of about $10,000 before a conservator is appointed.  However, in other cases, the dollar amount may not be required if other measures cannot be taken to rectify the finances (such as a representative payee).  A conservator also holds the power to enter into contracts on the protected person’s behalf.  A conservator may need to obtain a bond as well.

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2809 Cliff Rd East, Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337

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GUARDIANSHIP & CONSERVATORSHIP FAQ

 

MY MOTHER IS UNABLE TO PAY HER BILLS.  SHOULD I PETITION FOR GUARDIANSHIP OR CONSERVATORSHIP, OR BOTH?

A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions; a guardian is appointed to make 
personal decisions.

A guardian is appointed by the court to make the personal decisions of the protected person.  The guardian has authority to make decisions on behalf of the protected person about such things as where to live, medical decisions, training and education, etc.  A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions for the protected person.  The conservator typically has the power to enter into contracts, pay bills, invest assets, and perform other financial functions for the protected person.

I CURRENTLY HAVE A GUARDIAN AND CONSERVATOR PROCEEDING PENDING.  I WAS APPOINTED AN ATTORNEY BUT I WOULD LIKE TO 
KNOW IF I CAN HIRE MY OWN ATTORNEY?

You can hire your own attorney to represent your interests.
You can typically hire your own attorney to represent you in your guardianship/conservatorship case.  However, you will have to pay the attorney, even if you were appointed an attorney paid by the county.  Also, if you have a guardian and/or conservator currently, they may have to approve you hiring a new attorney.  

MY ADULT SON IS ON A PSYCHIATRIC HOLD AT THE HOSPITAL.  CAN I GET AN EXPEDITED COURT HEARING FOR OBTAINING 
GUARDIANSHIP?

Emergency guardianship proceedings allow expedited guardianship.
A regular guardianship proceeding usually takes six to eight weeks, depending on the county.  An emergency guardianship can be obtained upon filing (ex parte) or within approximately one week (with notice).  A petition for regular guardianship usually follows the filing of an emergency guardianship petition.  

A GUARDIAN WAS APPOINTED FOR ME.  WHAT DECISIONS CAN THEY MAKE ON MY BEHALF?

Your guardian can make your personal decisions.
Your guardian can make decisions regarding where you live, your care, comfort and maintenance, including food, clothing, shelter, health care, social and recreational requirements; taking care of your clothing, furniture, vehicles, and other personal effects; give consent for medical or other professional care; approve or withhold approval of any contract, except for necessities; and apply for government assistance on your behalf (if there is not a conservator). 

MY 18-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAS SEVERE AUTISM.  DO I NEED TO BE HER GUARDIAN?

A parental guardianship is very common.
Once someone reaches the age of 18, they are considered an adult.  Many parents find that they are limited in the ways they can help their disabled adult child.  In essence, their parental rights are lost.  They must petition the court to be appointed as their child’s guardian.  This is called a parental guardianship and is one of the most common types of guardianship. 

MY SISTER PASSED AWAY AND SHE WAS DIVORCED.  CAN I BECOME TEMPORARY GUARDIAN OF MY NIECE?

It depends on the status of the surviving parent, if any.
A temporary guardianship can be granted in some circumstances.  It may depend on whether the other parent of the child is still alive or whether they are deceased.  It may also depend on whether they have any parental rights.  However, in some circumstances, a temporary guardian can still be appointed in these circumstances, but it is best to contact an attorney to review your case because 
these are very complicated situations.   

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