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Guardianship

Note: New laws went into effect on August 1, 2020 for guardianship and conservatorship cases. The new laws change some of the words and processes used in these cases. Many forms and resources have been updated to include these changes. Supreme Court orders have placed portions of the new laws on hold until further review. Further changes will be made to the forms and resources after that review is complete.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has launched a new online training for individuals who have been appointed by a court to serve as a guardian or conservator. Learn More »

If you are appointed as a guardian in a guardianship case, you must complete certain tasks every year that the guardianship is in effect.

NOTE: If there is more than one guardian, each co-guardian must fill out and sign a set of forms.

Step 1: Make a note of the date you were appointed

Mark the date you were appointed as a guardian on your personal calendar, and then make a note of that anniversary date every year that the guardianship is in effect.

Step 2: Annual Reporting Forms

Within 30 days of the anniversary date of being appointed as a guardian, you must fill out and sign the Annual Reporting Forms Packet.

The Packet includes four separate forms:
  • Personal Well-Being Report (Guardianship);
  • Annual Notice of Right to Petition for Termination or Modification (Guardianship only)
  • Bill of Rights; and
  • Affidavit of Service (Report and Notice of Right - Guardianship).

Step 3: Serve Copies of the Paperwork

Guardian(s) must make copies of their completed Personal Well-Being Report and Annual Notice of Right to Petition for Termination or Modification form, and then arrange to have copies served on the person subject to guardinship and all interested persons whose names are on record with the court. The person subject to guardianship will also need to be served with a copy of the Bill of Rights. Service can be done by mail or in person.
 
Once service has been completed, the guardian must fill out and sign the Affidavit of Service form included in the Packet. That is a sworn document that says service was completed, and it is a document that you must sign under penalty of perjury. By signing under penalty of perjury, you are stating the information in the Affidavit of Service is true to the best of your knowledge. Perjury is the crime of intentionally lying or misrepresenting the truth. 

You file the Affidavit of Service with the court, but you do not have to give copies of the Affidavit to anyone else.

Step 4: File the original copy of the Annual Reporting Forms Packet within 30 Days of the anniversary Date

Guardian(s) must file the original copy of their Annual Reporting Forms Packet (except the Bill of Rights) with the court, including the Affidavit of Service, within 30 days of the anniversary date of being appointed as guardian.

Successor Guardian

If the court appointed you to be a guardian, but you are no longer able to serve in that role, you should consult with an attorney right away about asking the Court to appoint a Successor Guardian by completing and filing a new Petition for Appointment of a General Guardian or Conservator. To ask the court to discharge you from your role, you must file a Petition with the court and identify someone else who may be qualified to serve as a guardian and/or conservator.


The court does not publish step-by-step instructions on completing and filing the Petition paperwork, but the Conservatorship & Guardianship Manual offers basic explanations of legal terms, forms, and the court process. We strongly encourage you to get help from an attorney.

MN Court Forms - Guardianship / Conservatorship

NOTE: The MN Judicial Branch does not publish instructions for every guardianship or conservatorship form, but you can learn about the process by reading the Conservatorship & Guardianship Manual. You should talk with a lawyer to find out which specific forms to use in your situation and the procedures involved. Court Administration can tell you about the Fees that must be paid. Another good resource for finding forms and how-to information on legal issues is your local law library.

Conservators must use MyMNConservator to e-file their annual reports with the court.
 
Overview

What is a Guardian?

guardian is appointed by the court to make the personal decisions for the person subject to guardianship. The guardian has authority to make decisions on behalf of the person subject to guardianship about such things as where to live, medical decisions, training and education, etc.

Persons subject to guardianship are minors or incapacitated adults who have a court appointed guardian, lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and who have an inability to meet personal needs for medical care, nutrition, clothing, shelter, or safety.

If you want to have custody or be the "legal guardian" of a minor child, see Child Custody & Parenting Time for more information, or talk to a lawyer. For information about protecting the interests of minor children involved in the courts, visit the Guardian ad Litem Program.

Related: Learn about Conservatorship »

MyMNGuardian

MyMNGuardian (MMG) is an application developed by the Minnesota Judicial Branch that allows court-appointed guardians to submit Personal Well-Being Reports (PWBR) and the Affidavit of Service electronically.
 

Training Resources

IMPORTANT!

New laws went into effect on August 1, 2020 for guardianship and conservatorship cases. The new laws change some of the words and processes. For example, the word “ward” has been changed to “person subject to guardianship” and “protected person” has been changed to “person subject to conservatorship.”

The MN Judicial Branch is in the process of updating the training resources listed below. We are making these resources available to you in their current form while working to update them because they have very helpful information, even if some of the words and procedures do not match the new laws.

Guardianship/Conservatorship Training »

MyMNGuardian Training »

Guardianship/Conservatorship Video »
 

Printable Tip Sheet »

Understand your Powers, Duties, & Limitations

Refer to your court order appointing you as the guardian to know if you have been granted all or limited powers and duties.

Background Studies

If you were required to submit a consent to background study prior to your appointment as guardian, you will be required to submit an updated consent every two years.

Submit Yearly Documents On Time

  1. Personal Well-Being Report
  2. Annual Notice of Rights
  3. Affidavit of Service:
    Submit your documents within 60 days from the anniversary date of your Letters of Guardianship.
Electronically file using eFile & eServe (eFS), mail, or deliver to the probate court where your case is filed.
If you do not submit your documents on time each year, you may be required to attend court and explain why to a judge.

General Guidelines

  • Even though a person subject to guardianship has a guardian, they still retain certain rights. (See the Bill of Rights and Minn. Stat. § 524.5-120)
  • A person subject to guardianship keeps all rights not granted to the guardian.
  • A guardian must petition the court for modification of the guardianship when the condition of the person subject to guardianship changes such that fewer or additional powers are required.
  • A guardian with medical powers cannot consent to any medical care which violates the known conscientious, religious, or moral belief of the person subject to guardianship.
  • If given the powers over the personal property of the person subject to guardianship, a guardian cannot dispose of the clothing, furniture, vehicles, or personal effects of the person subject to guardianship without giving written notice by mail to interested persons.

Things a guardian cannot do or consent to without court approval

  • Admit the person subject to guardianship to a regional treatment center (with limited exceptions*)
  • Sterilization
  • Psychosurgery and electroshock treatment
  • Experimental treatment of any kind
  • Revoke a health care directive
*Exceptions include: outpatient care, temporary care (under 90 days), or admitted after a hearing under Minn. Stat. § 253B

Reportable events

Report to the court within 30 days of the occurrence of any of the events listed in Minn. Stats. §§ 524.5-316(b):
  • You are removed for cause from serving as guardian or conservator on any case.
  • Your professional license (see statute for list of agencies) is denied, conditioned, suspended, revoked, or canceled.
  • You are found civilly liable in an action that involves fraud, misrepresentation, material omission, misappropriation, theft, or conversion.
  • You have filed for bankruptcy.
  • A civil monetary judgment is entered against you.
  • You are convicted of a crime other than a petty misdemeanor or traffic offense.
  • An order for protection or harassment restraining order is issued against you.

Preparing Your Reports

Fill out the forms completely:
  • Keep records of significant events in the life of the person subject to guardianship. You will be required to report on such things as the living arrangements of the person subject to guardianship, the type and quality of care provided to the person subject to guardianship, and your interaction with the person subject to guardianship.
  • Keep detailed records of the services you provide if you are charging fees as guardian or seeking reimbursement for expenses.
  • State the relevant information. Don’t just state “no change” or “see prior report.”
  • Be sure to include the addresses, phone numbers and emails of the person subject to guardianship and the guardian(s).
  • All guardians must sign the report or submit separate signed reports. Only the guardian/person who actually served the documents needs to sign the affidavit of service.

Notify the Court

  • If you change your address, email, or phone number.
  • Inform the court in writing if you terminate your attorney.
IMPORTANT!
New laws went into effect on August 1, 2020 for guardianship and conservatorship cases. The new laws change some of the words and processes. For example, the word “ward” has been changed to “person subject to guardianship” and “protected person” has been changed to “person subject to conservatorship.”

The MN Judicial Branch is in the process of updating the Online Conservatorship & Guardianship Training and Guardianship/Conservatorship Video listed below. We are making these resources available to you in their current form while working to update them because they have very helpful information, even if some of the words and procedures do not match the new laws.


Online Conservatorship & Guardianship Training »

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has launched an online training for individuals who have been appointed by a court to serve as a guardian or conservator.

The interactive, self-paced training module aims to help new guardians and conservators understand their roles and responsibilities, including the statutes and policies in place to protect vulnerable individuals. The training may also be used as a refresher course by experienced guardians or conservators, or to answer specific questions about their duties.

 

A Manual on Guardianship and Conservatorship in Minnesota »

This is a manual published by the Minnesota Judicial Branch and written especially for non-lawyers. The manual only addresses guardianship and conservatorship of adults, NOT minors.

The law on guardianship and conservatorship is very complex. We encourage you to talk with a lawyer to get legal advice about your situation.
 
Help Videos