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This information is not intended to advise participants on legal issues, nor is it intended to be a substitute for a lawyer or legal advice. It is a general description of procedures and basic information about guardianship and conservatorship matters in Washington County Probate Court. By statute, Court employees cannot give you legal advice.
The Probate Court has been authorized by the Minnesota State legislature to appoint conservators and/or guardians to manage the affairs of incapacitated or incompetent people. At some time, a person may need or want to take responsibility for a physically or mentally incapacitated person who cannot manage their personal or financial affairs. In this proceeding the court orders the appointment of a person to act as a decision maker for another person. The court bases this decision on clear and convincing evidence that the protected person or ward has been found to be unable to make necessary decisions on his or her own behalf. A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions for the protected person. A guardian is appointed to make the personal decisions for the ward. All guardianship and conservatorship proceedings are governed by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 524.
Initiating a Guardianship or Conservatorship Proceeding
The first step in initiating a proceeding is to consult an attorney. An attorney can review with you less restrictive alternatives that may fulfill the needs of the person you are trying to protect. The Minnesota Statutes and court rules relating to guardianship and conservatorship are complex. It is difficult for a person to proceed without the assistance of an attorney.
Minnesota Statutes, Section 524.5-118 requires a background study on a person becoming a guardian or conservator. The background study will include a review of criminal convictions held at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and records of substantiated maltreatment of vulnerable adults held by the Department of Human Services. There also will be a search of FBI criminal records if you have not resided in Minnesota for the previous 5 years or if the BCA information indicated that you are a multi-state offender.
Background checks are not required of parents or guardians of a proposed ward who has mental retardation or a related condition if the parent or guardian has raised the proposed ward or conservatee in the family home until the petition is filed.
The Minnesota Statutes governing guardianship and conservatorship of minors differ significantly from those governing the protection of adults. The first step in initiating a proceeding is to consult an attorney. An attorney can review with you less restrictive alternatives that may fulfill the needs of the minor you are trying to protect. The Minnesota Statutes and court rules relating to minor guardianship and minor conservatorships are complex. Again, it is difficult for a person to proceed without the assistance of an attorney.
Power of Attorney
The Probate Division does not have jurisdiction over this document and therefore does not have any information available. It is recommended that you contact a legal adviser if you have any questions regarding this procedure. The Power of Attorney is not filed or recorded in the Probate Division.
The information contained on this site is not intended as legal advice but as a general guide to explain the legal process.
TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRAINING VIDEO:
Guardian Conservator Training Video (Broadband)
Guardian Conservator Training Video (Dial Up)