I frequently get calls from persons under guardianship, or their family members, who are concerned because the current guardian is not doing things that they are supposed to (or is doing things that they are not supposed to). If the actions of the guardian are serious enough to put the person under guardianship in jeopardy, the Court can appoint a Temporary Substitute Guardian under Minn. Stat. 524.5-312. The Court could appoint a temporary successor guardian of its own volition, or an interested person could bring a petition asking the court to do it after a hearing. It depends on the particular circumstances of the case and how urgently a new temporary guardian is needed. If you have questions about your particular case, you should seek the advice of counsel.
What can be done if the current guardian is not adequately performing his or her duties and the welfare of the ward is in jeopardy?
(a) If the court finds that a guardian is not effectively performing the guardian’s duties and that the welfare of the ward requires immediate action, it may appoint a temporary substitute guardian for the ward for a specified period not exceeding six months. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, a temporary substitute guardian so appointed has the powers set forth in the previous order of appointment. The authority of any unlimited or limited guardian previously appointed by the court is suspended as long as a temporary substitute guardian has authority. If an appointment is made without previous notice to the ward or the affected guardian, within five days after the appointment, the court shall inform the ward or guardian of the appointment.
(b) The court may remove a temporary substitute guardian at any time. A temporary substitute guardian shall make any report the court requires. In other respects, the provisions of this article concerning guardians apply to a temporary substitute guardian.
This is a good option if the normal procedures to appoint a successor guardian (which include petition and notice, just like in initially establishing a guardianship) cannot be followed, or if someone is not immediately available to serve as permanent guardian. A temporary substitute guardian can be appointed ex parte by the court, without notice to the ward, guardian or all interested persons. However, if that is done, then within 5 days after the appointment, the ward and guardian must be given notice of the appointment.