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: What paperwork is a guardian required to file with the Court each year?
A guardian must complete and file with the Court an “Annual Well Being Report” and a “Notice of Right to Petition For Restoration to Capacity” within 30 days of the anniversary of their appointment as guardian. These documents are simple forms that are available through the Minnesota State Court Website. These forms must be completed by the guardian (by EACH guardian if there is more than one guardian), a copy served on the Ward and Interested Persons and filed with the Court (along with an Affidavit of Service). The statute governing these reports is Minn. Stat. 524.5-316
Although most guardians are able to complete these forms on their own, some guardians find it helpful to have an attorney assist them with it the first year that they do it.
What do you do when the Ward (the person for whom you are serving as Guardian) dies? Do you need to notify the Court? Do you need to file any papers with the Court?
YES – you need to notify the Court and file papers. Minnesota Statute 524.5-317 addresses termination of a guardianship due to the ward’s death. The document that you file, in Minnesota Guardianships, is a Petition For Termination of Guardianship and Discharge of Guardian. A copy of the death certificate must accompany the Petition (Note: Since it has a social security number on it, you must file it as confidential). You should also submit a proposed Order Terminating Guardianship and Discharging Guardian. If everything is in order, the Court typically signs the Order without requiring Notice and a hearing.
Proposed guardians or conservators in Minnesota must complete a background check in order to be appointed by the Court. The statute requiring the background check is Minnesota Statute 524.5-118. If the proposed guardian or conservator has applied for certain licenses in the State of Minnesota (or other states), that must be disclosed on the petition and those agencies will be contacted as part of the background check in order to determine the status of the license (whether it has ever been conditioned, revoked, suspended or cancelled). The types of licenses are those involving direct fiduciary responsibilities. Specifically, the following professional licenses are required to be disclosed:
(1) Lawyers Responsibility Board;
(2) State Board of Accountancy;
(3) Board of Social Work;
(4) Board of Psychology;
(5) Board of Nursing;
(6) Board of Medical Practice;
(7) Department of Education;
(8) Department of Commerce;
(9) Board of Chiropractic Examiners;
(10) Board of Dentistry;
(11) Board of Marriage and Family Therapy;
(12) Department of Human Services; and
(13) Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.
If your license with any of these agencies has been cancelled, revoked, suspended or conditioned, the background study will indicate that and the Court will use caution in considering whether to appoint you. You will likely be questioned by the Court about the circumstances surrounding your license and the Court will decide whether the circumstances justify not appointing you in the particular guardianship for which you are petitioning.