Establishing a conservatorship for a minor in Minnesota may be required by the courts if the minor is set to inherit more than $5,000 from an estate, life insurance policy, or other inheritance. In the event that a conservatorship is required, there are several things that you should consider before you get started.
Conservatorships Differ from Guardianships
You may or may not be the child’s guardian, but guardianships differ from conservatorships in the state of Minnesota. Conservators are court-appointed fiduciaries who are charged with managing a person’s (in this case the minor subject to the conservatorship) assets. Just because you are a guardian does not mean you are a conservator, so if the court requires a conservator to be appointed, you will have to apply when the conservatorship is established.
Who Can Be a Conservator?
While there is no law in place stating prohibiting most people (you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the US) from being a conservator for a minor, the role tends to be taken up by a parent, guardian, or close relative to the minor subject to the conservatorship. You must go through the court’s process to be approved as a conservator, which tends to include a background check, among other things.
What are the Duties of a Conservator?
Conservators are generally responsible for managing the minor’s investments, assets, and day-to-day spending based off an inheritance that they have received. Conservators also generally have the power to sign contracts, and a full description of the powers and duties of a conservator can be found on the MN court’s website.
When Does the Conservatorship End?
If the minor who is subject to the conservatorship is of sound mind and body by the time they turn 18 years of age, the conservatorship will generally end and they will have control over the assets they have inherited. If there is a need for the conservatorship to continue, you will work with the courts to continue it further.
What Else is Needed for a Conservatorship?
In most cases, the court will require that conservators obtain a conservatorship bond. A conservatorship bond is a type of surety bond that provides protection for the minor subject to the conservatorship should the conservator fail to perform their duties as assigned by the court. While you should work with an attorney to establish a conservatorship, you will be instructed to obtain a conservatorship bond from a reputable source.