FAQ Friday: How does a guardian dispose of personal property?

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FAQ Friday is a new part of this blog where Spence Legal Services will provide answers to frequently asked questions on guardianships and conservatorships in Minnesota.  If you have a question that you would like answered for a future post, please submit it to Spence Legal via email (our contact information can be found on the “Contact Us” tab on this website).

FAQ: I’ve been appointed as guardian, so I know I’m in charge of my mom’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  How do I go about disposing of them or selling them?

In Minnesota, a guardian is responsible for a ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  A conservator, if one is appointed, would be responsible for all other property. Minnesota Statute 524.5-313(c)(3) sets forth your duties regarding the ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  Essentially, you must do as follows:

  • Fill out a Notice of Intent to Dispose of Clothing, Furniture, Vehicles or Other Personal Effects.  The form can be found on the Minnesota Court Website. Fill it out as completely as possible with details regarding what you intend to dispose of and how you intend to do that (i.e.  private sale, donate it to Goodwill, post it on Craigslist, etc).
  • Mail the notice on the Ward (the person for whom you are Guardian) and Interested Persons (defined by Minn. Stat. 524.5-102)
  • File the Notice and an Affidavit of Service with the Court.
  • Wait 10 days.  If you have not received an objection, you can proceed with your planned distribution of the personal property.  If you have received an objection, or one has been filed with the court, you need to wait until you receive an order from the court telling you what to do with the property (a hearing will be scheduled and held).

If you have questions on this process, speak with a qualified guardianship attorney.

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