Many people accept the role of being a guardian out of necessity. Some do it solely because they want to help someone they love, whether they are a family member or friend. Whatever the reason, if you’ve decided to be a guardian in Minnesota, you’ll need to know what you can and cannot do and, just as important, what you should and should not do.
If you are working with an attorney, they will be able to tell you everything you need to know from a legal sense, but there are also several well-known dos and don’ts of being a Minnesota guardian.
Do: Understand Your Powers, Duties, and Limitations
When you are appointed as a guardian by the courts, you will be given a court order that notifies you if you have been given full or limited powers as a guardian. These powers can be dependent on the limitations of the person subject to the guardianship. If the circumstances of the person change, and more powers are required for you as a guardian, you can petition the court to modify the guardianship and add additional powers.
Keep in mind that even if you have full powers as a guardian, there are certain things you cannot do, which include:
- Admit the person subject to guardianship to a regional treatment center (there are certain exceptions to this, which include temporary care that is less than 90 days).
- Force the person subject to guardianship to undergo sterilization, psychosurgery and electroshock treatment, or experimental treatment of any kind.
- Revoke a health care directive
Do: Understand the Rights of the Person Subject to Guardianship
The person subject to guardianship retains certain rights. These are laid out in the Bill of Rights for Persons Subject to Guardianship or Conservatorship, which can be found here. Any power not granted to you as a guardian is retained by the person subject to the guardianship.
Don’t: Miss Your Deadlines
As a guardian, there are certain yearly reports you must submit on time. These reports include:
- Personal Well-Being
- Annual Notice of Right to Petition Restoration to Capacity
- Affidavit of Service
There are also certain reportable events that you must report to the court within 30 days of occurrence. These can be found in Minn. Stats. §§ 524.5-316(b).
Do: Be Thorough in Your Reporting
Make sure you keep very good records of what you do and when in your role as a guardian. Some of the things you may be required to report on include:
- Living arrangements of the person subject to guardianship, including their current address
- The type of care they receive
- The services you provide
- Your expenses
- Any other information as required by the court
Do: Get a Surety Bond When Required
In most cases, before you can assume your role as a guardian, you will be required by the court to obtain a guardianship surety bond. Guardianship bonds are there to protect the person subject to the guardianship. They provide financial recompense in the event that the court appointed entity fails to perform the duties and obligations assigned to them as a guardian.
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.
It’s not difficult to obtain these bonds if you work with the right agency. To get the bond you need, when you need it, work with The Patrick J. Thomas Agency today.