Is a guardianship forever?

I represent a lot of people who are put under guardianship and one of the things that I always talk about with them is that a guardianship does NOT always last forever.  This is particularly true in the case of young adults, who are put under guardianship when they turn 18 because of disabilities like ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Anxiety Disorder.* With any individual, but particularly with “children” when they turn 18, they simply need more time, more transitional schooling, more life experience, before they are able to function in society without a guardian.

How is a guardianship ended in Minnesota?  By convincing the Court that a person is no longer in need of the assistance or protection of a guardian.  The court will have a hearing to determine whether a guardianship should be terminated.  At the hearing, evidence is presented to show that the individual is now able to make and communicate his/her own responsible decisions regarding medical care, shelter, nutrition, clothing and safety.  Although statute doesn’t technically require it, it is usually very helpful to have a Physician’s Statement that there is no longer a continuing need for a guardian.  Once a prima facie case is established that a guardian is no longer needed, if no one comes forward objecting to the termination and showing that in fact guardianship is still needed, then the Court must terminate the guardianship.  The statute that governs termination of guardianships is Minn. Stat. 524.5-317.  During this process the Ward (person under guardianship) is entitled to have an attorney represent him/her.

 

 

* (This list is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive).

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