When it comes to being a guardian or a conservator in Minnesota, the most important thing a person can do is fully understand both the powers that are given to them and the laws that govern the position they have accepted.
Here are five important MN legal statutes that all Minnesota guardians and conservators should read and understand before they take on the responsibilities of the position. Keep in mind that these statutes can change, so check back often to see if they have changed. If you are struggling to understand these statutes, or have any questions regarding them, we suggest you consult with an attorney.
Minn. Stat. § 524.5-120 – Bill of Rights for Wards and Protected Persons
This statute acts as a basic “Bill of Rights” for protected persons in the state of Minnesota. It is your responsibility to not infringe upon any of these rights while acting as a guardian or conservator. It is also required that you notify the protected person of these rights once per year.
Minn. Stat. § 524.5-313 – Powers and Duties of a Guardian
This statute lays out the basic powers and duties of guardians. Keep in mind that every case of guardianship is different, and the judge may grant you specific powers based on that case. Check with the courts to understand your specific duties for your case.
Minn. Stat. § 524.5-316 – Annual Reporting Requirements of a Guardian
Guardians are required every year (or as ordered by the court) to submit a written report to the courts outlining the general condition of the protected person. This statute states what is supposed to be in that report. If you are uncertain what to include, work with your attorney to complete the report or ask the courts for more information on what they need.
Minn. Stat. § 524.5-417 – General Powers and Duties of a Conservator
This statute lays out the basic powers and duties of a conservator. As with guardians, your specific duties and powers as a conservator may differ per your case. For conservators, your specific duties are expressly detailed in the will or trust you are overseeing. Check with your attorney to see what you are specifically responsible for.
Minn. Stat. § 524.5-420 – Annual Reporting Requirements of a Conservator
Conservators in Minnesota are required to annually (or as ordered by the courts) submit a report that includes an accounting of the assets of the protected person. This statute lays out the guidelines for the report and outlines what is supposed to be included. This is important to get right because the courts may order an audit of your account. If you unsure about filing the report, work with an attorney and/or a financial advisor. You can also ask the courts for clarification on anything that needs to be included in the accounting.
Becoming a Guardian or Conservator
In most cases, Minnesota judges will require a person to submit a surety bond before they become a guardian or conservator. If you are going to accept either of these positions, contact The Patrick J. Thomas Agency today to learn what you need to apply for a bond.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.