When children in Minnesota reach the Age of Majority (18 years old), they are legally considered adults. With this comes many rights and responsibilities: they can legally move out without their parents’ permission, enter into contracts (in accordance with common law), and much more. For children who have certain disabilities that make them unable to manage their day-to-day lives, it is essential for their parents to move to set up a guardianship.
What is a Guardianship?
A guardian in Minnesota is someone appointed by the court and has the legal right and duty to care for a person, known as a Protected person, who is unable to legally act on his or her own behalf due to a mental of physical disability.
You can learn more about how to become or appoint a guardian here. Since the courts determine if a guardian is needed, and has a final say in the appointment, the person who will be acting as a guardian will have to undergo a background check. It may also be necessary to obtain a surety bond that covers the guardianship and ensures financial recompense should the guardian not fulfill their duties.
What to Know About Being a Guardian
If you are interested in becoming your child’s guardian, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- The power you have is derived from the court: every guardianship is different, and not all guardians have the same powers and control over the affairs of the ward they oversee. Make sure you fully understand the powers that the court has given you. This will all be established and you can even check with the court or your attorney if you have any questions.
- Conservatorship: as a guardian, you have the right to as the court to set up a conservatorship. Conservators handle the financial affairs of a vulnerable person. You can learn more about them on the Minnesota Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship website.
- Medical assistance threshold: your ward may qualify for medical assistance benefits. Learn more about the medical assistance threshold on the Department of Human Services website.
Get Started Early
Do not wait until your child turns 18 to setup a guardianship or conservatorship. You should begin planning for these things as soon as possible. You can speak with your attorney about the process, then contact The Patrick J. Thomas Agency to learn more about the bonds you will need to acquire.
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.