• November 10, 2020

How to Prepare for a Guardianship Hearing

How to Prepare for a Guardianship Hearing

1024 682 Patrick J. Thomas Agency

The Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, a Minnesota law, guarantees that a guardianship proceeding will take place in probate court. During this proceeding, a guardian will be appointed and approved by the court. This person will oversee the responsibility and obligation to care for a child or protected person, and their duties can include everything from basic daily needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) to living arrangements, education, medical decisions, voting and social and recreational activities. 

If you are set to appear during a guardianship hearing, here’s how you can prepare for the proceedings. 

Before the Hearing

Before guardianship hearings are set, a petition for determination of incapacity and appointment of a limited or unlimited guardian will generally be filed, which outlines the reasons that the guardianship is necessary. The petition will also name the person who is to be appointed guardian, and this person may also be the one who files the petition. 

In most cases, the person who is to be named the guardian must attend the hearing. The person who is to be the subject of the guardianship also has the right to be notified of and appear at the hearing. However, this person can be excused from attending the hearing (generally due to medical reasons, upon receipt of a note from a physician). The person who is the subject of the guardianship also has the right to be represented by an attorney or counsel. 

Be Prepared for a Background Check

In most cases, the court will require the person who is to be appointed the guardian to undergo a background check.  

What to Expect at the Hearing

Be prepared to answer questions during the hearing. The court may examine the person who is to be appointed a guardian, and they may question you based on your relationship to the protected person, your background, and your willingness and qualifications to be the guardian. 

During the hearing, the petitioner (the person who is asking for the guardianship) and the respondent (the person who will be the subject of the guardianship) have the right to present evidence and witnesses that can support the need (or lack thereof) for a guardianship to be formed. Anyone may request to take part in the hearing, but the court has the final say on who may participate and may even attach conditions to a person’s participation. 

After all evidence is presented and witnesses heard, the court will make a determination as to whether a guardianship is necessary and whom can serve in the position. The court can also set limitations on the guardian’s responsibilities.  

Note: if you are uncertain about the process or anything that may occur at the hearing, speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about probate and guardianship proceedings. 

A Surety Bond Will Be Required

In most cases, guardians must obtain and post a surety bond before assuming their role. The court generally requires these to be obtained. Surety bonds are not something you can obtain from the courts; they must be purchased through a surety or surety agency. 

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.

To obtain a surety bond for your guardianship, contact the experts at The Patrick J. Thomas Agency today.