Guardians in Minnesota are required to file a “Personal Well Being Report” annually, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 524.5-316. Why is this required? What is involved? How is this done? Who gets the report? Answers to these questions and more!
FAQ on Personal Well Being Reports:
There are co-guardians. Do each of us need to sign the report? YES. Each guardian needs to sign the completed personal well being report.
Nothing has changed. Do I still need to complete the report? YES. Even if nothing substantive has changed, you are required to fill out a new report each year.
The ward is mentally impaired and won’t be able to understand the report. Do I still need to serve her with a copy? YES. Even though it seems futile to do so in some cases of extreme impairment, you must serve the Ward and file an affidavit of service.
What do I need to put in the Personal Well Being Report? It doesn’t need to be super detailed. Just answer the questions about the ward’s living situation, medical condition, any restrictions imposed, etc. The idea behind the report is to give the Court and Interested Persons a summary of what has happened in the past year, so that if there are any changes or areas of concern, the Court and Interested Parties are aware and could act, if necessary.
Once the Personal Well Being Report is completed, what do I do with it? Serve it on the Ward and Interested Persons (as defined in Minn. Stat. 524.5-102) and file the original with the Court (along with an Affidavit of Service).
So you think that your elderly parent is no longer able to make sound personal and medical decisions, and might be in need of a guardian? Before filing a petition for guardianship, here are some of the main things you should consider:
- Does your elderly parent already have a health care directive in place? If so, this may be a “lesser restrictive alternative” to guardianship.
- Do you have physician support for the guardianship? Although not technically required, in order to be successful on your guardianship petition, physician’s support is recommended. If you can’t get it (because of HIPPA), you may need to rely on behavioral evidence alone. If you are the current health care agent under a health care directive, you should try to get physician’s support.
- If you are thinking of being the guardian, you need to consider the impact that being guardian will have on your relationship with the parent. Often times the elderly individual resents the guardian and is hostile. Sometimes children may want to petition, but ask that a neutral individual (or professional) be appointed as guardian.
- Are you prepared to make tough choices? A guardian makes tough choices – medical decisions, where to live, supervisory decisions. The decisions aren’t always easy, black and white decisions. Before taking on this important role, you need to make sure you are prepared for the challenges that it will present.
- Will filing for guardianship of your elderly parent cause friction among you and your siblings? Oftentimes siblings feud over whether mom or dad even need a guardian, or who the is best person to be guardian. Before filing the petition, you should ascertain whether you have the support of your siblings and, to the extent that you don’t have their support, you must be prepared to forge ahead for what you believe is right for your parent.