What Is Conservatorship and Guardianship?
Conservatorship and guardianship typically result from court proceedings in which the court appoints someone (a “conservator” or “guardian”) to manage another person’s financial affairs or personal care decisions. Generally, those proceedings are permitted only when a person becomes so incapacitated or impaired that he or she is unable to make financial or personal decisions, and has no other viable option for delegating these duties to another (e.g., through a durable power of attorney, living trust, or some other means). Using these standards, conservatorships or guardianships might be established for people who are in a coma, suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, or have other serious injuries or illnesses.
Under Minnesota law, conservatorships and guardianships are used to appoint a person when an individual is unable to make personal decisions or is unable to meet his or her financial needs, even with appropriate technological assistance. The court orders the appointment of a person (a “conservator” or “guardian”) to act as a decision maker for another person (the “protected person” or “ward”). A court must base 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. Once a court makes a finding of incapacity or impairment, the person no longer has the right to manage his or her affairs until proven capable.
A guardian has the duty to assure that provisions have been made for the ward’s care and comfort, including food, health care, and social requirements. A guardian has the power to give consent to enable the ward to receive necessary medical or professional care.
There is a lot to know when it comes to Conservatorship and Guardianship. Thomason, Swanson & Zahn brings the knowledge and experience should the need arise. Call us today 218-303-9549 to speak with our expert legal team.