Guardianship & Conservatorship lawyer

Minnesota Guardianship Lawyer

What is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal relationship that has been established by a court. If a person (called the “ward”) is found by clear and convincing evidence to lack the capacity to make decisions for his/herself, the court may appoint a guardian to make those decisions on the ward’s behalf.

Ordering a guardianship is not a decision the court makes lightly. The person asking the court to be appointed as guardian (the “petitioner”) must show the court through very convincing evidence that a guardianship is necessary.

Once appointed, a guardian can decide where the ward lives, the medical treatment the ward receives (with certain limitations), what training and education the ward receives and more.
Because the guardianship imparts a lot of control, if there is a less restrictive alternative to a guardianship, the court may very well require the less restrictive option instead.

Who needs a Guardianship?

A guardianship may be necessary for someone who lacks the capacity to make decisions for him/herself. Each case needs to be assessed individually, and each person will have his/her own special needs to address.
Feel free to contact our office to discuss if a guardianship is the best option for your situation. Call Linda Thompson at 651-464-8510.

Who Should be the Guardian?

Although it is usually the ward’s mother or father who petitions to be the guardian, the guardian does not necessarily have to be parent to the ward.
The person best suited to be the guardian is someone who will look out for the ward’s best interests at all times, and has the mental ability, physical stamina, emotional stability, compassion, time, empathy, and patience to analyze and implement those best interests.
The guardian must first pass a criminal background check, with some exceptions.

What are the Benefits of Having a Guardianship?

A guardianship can be highly beneficial for the ward. Because the ward lacks the capacity to make decisions for him/herself, an effective guardianship helps the ward stay healthy and safe.

What are the Drawbacks of Having a Guardianship?

There are some drawbacks of having a guardianship.
For the ward, the biggest drawback is a loss of freedom. Because the guardian decides where the ward lives, goes to school, receives medical attention (with some exceptions), and many other things, the ward no longer has personal autonomy to make those choices for his/herself – with exceptions, of course.
For the guardian, a guardianship requires work. If the guardian has already been caring for the ward for a number of years, the guardian may not see much additional burden. But for a guardian who is relatively new to caring for the ward, the commitment required of the guardianship should be carefully considered. In addition, the guardian will need to complete certain forms and submit them to the court every year.

When Can a Guardianship be Created?

Guardianships can be created for minors or for adults.
They can be created when the ward clearly and convincingly needs the help and support the guardianship creates.
There are several timing issues that need to be considered when starting the guardianship process. The availability of certain state and county funding, as well as tax consequences, should considered.

When does a Guardianship End?

A guardianship can end a number of ways. The ward could petition to end the guardianship, the guardian could ask the same of the court, an outside party could petition to end the guardianship, or the death of one of the parties could end the guardianship.

What do I do if I Suspect a Guardianship is Not in the Best Interests of the Ward?

If you suspect that a vulnerable person is being taken advantage of, you should contact your local police, social services, or other authorities.

What is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is legal relationship that has been established by a court. If a person (called the “protected person”) is found by clear and convincing evidence to lack the capacity to make decisions for his/herself, the court may appoint a conservator to make those decisions on the protected person’s behalf.
Ordering a conservatorship is not a decision the court makes lightly. The person asking the court to be appointed as conservator (the “petitioner”) must show the court through very convincing evidence that a conservatorship is necessary.
Once appointed, a conservator can make financial decisions for the protected person. The conservator keeps careful records, keeps an inventory of all of the protected person’s property, pays the protected person’s debts as they come due, files the protected person’s taxes each year, and files annual reports.
Because the conservatorship imparts a lot of control, if there is a less restrictive alternative to a conservatorship the court may very well require the less restrictive option instead.

Who needs a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship may be necessary for someone who lacks the capacity to make financial decisions for him/herself. Each case needs to be assessed individually, and each person will have his/her own special needs to address.

Feel free to contact our office to discuss if a conservatorship is the best option for your situation. Call Linda Thompson at 651-464-8510.

Who Should be the Conservator?

The person best suited to be the conservator is someone who will look out for the protected person’s best interests at all times.
Above all, the conservator must be trustworthy. Because the conservator’s chief duties include management of the protected person’s money and assets, the conservator must be someone who will handle those duties carefully.
The conservator must first pass a criminal background check, with some exceptions.

What are the Benefits of Having a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship can be highly beneficial for the protected person. Because the protected person lacks the capacity to make decisions for him/herself, an effective conservatorship helps the protected person manage his/her income, assets, and other investments. The conservatorship helps ensure the protected person will file his/her taxes, pay his/her debts, and not fall into unnecessary financial hardship.

What are the Drawbacks of Having a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship can have some drawbacks.
There is a loss of some financial freedoms for the protected person.
There is some additional work for the conservator. The conservator will need to file some documents annually, and will need to pay attention to the protected person’s assets and other investments.

When Can a Conservatorship be Created?

Conservatorships can be created for minors or for adults.
They can be created when the protected person clearly and convincingly needs the help and support the conservatorship creates.
There are several timing issues that need to be considered when starting the conservatorship process. Call Linda Thompson at 651-464-8510 to discuss these matters.

When does a Conservatorship end?

A conservatorship can end a number of ways. The protected person could petition to end the conservatorship, the conservator could ask the same of the court, an outside party could petition to end the conservatorship, or the death of one of the parties could end the conservatorship.

What do I do if I Suspect a Conservatorship is Not in the Best Interests of the Protected Person?

If you suspect that a vulnerable person is being taken advantage of, you should contact your local police, social services, or other authorities.

What are Some Other Options for Helping Someone in Need, Besides a Guardianship or Conservatorship?

There are several options for helping someone in need besides guardianship or a conservatorship. A power of attorney, health care directive, joint bank accounts, a trust, or other options may be better suited.

Call our office and speak with Linda Thompson to discuss your options. 651-464-8510.

Questions about Bankruptcy or Family Law?

We can provide answers in a free initial consultation. You can meet with a lawyer about your case in our Forest Lake office, or over the phone. Call (651) 464-8510 or click here to contact us via email.



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Forest Lake, MN Office
1650 11th Avenue SW Suite 203
Forest Lake, MN 55025
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Forest Lake, MN 55025

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Minnesota Bankruptcy Intake FormThe Forest Lake, Minnesota bankruptcy lawyers of Anderson & Associates, L.L.C., represent people from our local area (Hugo, Lindstrom, Chisago City, Wyoming, Lino Lakes, Centerville, Shoreview) as well as Minnesota communities throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.