How long does it take to get a guardian or conservator appointed in Minnesota?
As with most anything, the answer is: It depends. It depends on the county that you are filing the petition in. It depends on whether the petition will be contested or uncontested.
Typically, a routine uncontested guardianship or conservatorship can be in place about 4 – 6 weeks from the time the petition is filed with the court. Why so long? There is a 14 day notice requirement, whereby all Interested Persons (as defined under Minnesota Statute) must receive notice of the hearing. Therefore, when you file a guardianship petition, the very earliest that you will be heard by the court would be about 16 – 18 days later. More commonly, the court will set the hearing for 4 – 5 weeks out from the time the petition is filed. At the hearing, if it is uncontested, the court will often times rule from the bench, granting the petition. However, even then, work must sometimes be done before the guardianship Letters (the document that gives the guardian or conservator authority to act) will be issued. For example, the background study may still need to be completed or a bond may need to be obtained.
A contested guardianship or conservatorship hearing can take much longer. It may be many months before the contested process is complete. Why so long? In contested proceedings, parties often conduct discovery (formal information gathering) and the respondent sometimes needs a medical or psychological examination (to support or oppose the proceeding).
If you can’t wait the 4 – 6 weeks that it may take (minimum) to get a guardianship or conservatorship in place, you may need to consider proceeding with an emergency guardianship or emergency conservatorship. As always, if you have questions about the guardianship or conservatorship process in Minnesota, please contact experienced Minnesota guardianship attorney Cindi Spence Matt.