Conservators are court-appointed fiduciaries who are charged with managing a protected person’s assets. They can manage a person’s money, investments, and day-to-day spending, and often sign contracts. This is a temporary position that can take time to fill. This often means that a protected person’s needs will not be fulfilled until a conservator is appointed and granted powers by the court. This gap can be dangerous to certain individuals, which is why emergency conservatorships exist.
If you are going to be appointed as an emergency conservator or are looking to have one appointed for a loved one, here is what you should know.
Know What an Emergency Conservator Can and Cannot Do
An emergency conservatorship is a special type of conservatorship that is granted by the courts for a specific amount of time, more specifically the time before a more permanent conservator can be vetted and appointed to take over. The process of appointing a conservator can take weeks, as it normally requires court approval, background checks, paperwork, the procurement of a conservatorship bond, and other steps.
Emergency conservators are appointed to provide many of the same duties and services as a regular conservator, but their powers are often limited because of the temporary nature of their appointment. Emergency conservators can be appointed for either minors or adults in Minnesota.
The forms you’ll need to appoint a conservator in Minnesota can be found here.
Understand the Law in Minnesota
For more information on emergency conservators, see 524.5-409 FINDINGS; ORDER OF APPOINTMENT. Within these statutes are a few key points:
- The court “may appoint an emergency conservator whose authority may not exceed 60 days and who may exercise only the powers specified in the order.” These can last as long as 90 days, by court order in certain counties.
- “An emergency conservator may be appointed without notice to the respondent and the respondent’s lawyer only if the court finds from affidavit or other sworn testimony that the respondent will be substantially harmed before a hearing on the appointment can be held.” The court must notify the person subject to the conservatorship within 48 hours if this happens.
- “The court may remove an emergency conservator at any time.”
- “An emergency conservator shall make any report the court requires.”
Know the Process
When an attorney or person petitions the court for an emergency conservatorship, a hearing will be set for the protected person. However, the court can appoint an emergency conservator without notifying the person subject to the conservatorship (see above). The conservator is given limited powers and instructions by the court, which they can carry out until the time in which a new person or party is appointed by the court to serve full-time as the conservator.
Additionally, you may be required to obtain a conservatorship bond, which must happen quickly. To obtain this type of bond quickly and securely, work with a reliable agency that can help you through the process.
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.