Proposed Changes to Minnesota Guardianship Background Study: S.F. No. 7

There is a hearing being held this week on Thursday February 28, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. regarding proposed legislation on the background study that proposed guardians and conservators must go through – and information they must keep updated – in order to be a guardian or conservator.  The text of S.F. Bill No. 7 can be found here.  Contact your legislator if you have comments regarding the proposed bill.

In general, the proposed changes require disclosure of things such as:  civil lawsuits resulting in a judgment involving fraud, misrepresentation, etc; activities impacting a professional licence (suspension, denial, revocation); conviction of a crime other than a petty misdemeanor; an Order For Protection being issued against a person.

Some people are taking the position that this bill goes too far in requiring disclosure of private information that doesn’t affect the ability to serve as guardian (and which may actually prevent qualified people from otherwise serving).  However, really, when someone is acting as a fiduciary over another person’s most private decisions and finances – shouldn’t all of this information about the fiduciary be disclosed and it be up to the court to decide whether to appoint, in spite of the information?  True, a guardian going through a personal bankruptcy might technically have “nothing to do with his ability to serve as conservator”.  However, it may be very relevant because that person may be going through personal financial pressures which impact on his or her ability to serve as fiduciary.  And it seems that the information that is being requested as part of the background study IS all public data anyway – if one knows where to look for it.

If you have comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed bill, contact your representative.

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