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.
For those of you following the case of former ADMI leader Steve Grisham, you will find an update in a recent Star Tribune article by James Schiffer. One of the latest issues is who should pay the attorneys fees incurred by ADMI’s lawyers in investigating all of the ADMI client files to determine whether any other thefts occurred. The Hennepin County Probate Court is expected to issue a decision later this summer on whether the company that provided a bond for ADMI should now have to pay $90,000 of ADMI’s legal fees, which were expended in the investigation surrounding the theft of $100,000 from and ADMI client.
What do you need to convey title to a piece of real estate that is in your own name only, but your spouse is under conservatorship?
The Minnesota Title Standards require 3 things:
- Certified copy of letters of conservatorship;
- Certified copy of order of probate court authorizing conservator to consent for the incompetent spouse to the deed of the owner;
- Deed executed by owner and consent executed by the conservator by endorsement thereon.
See Minnesota Title Standards I-G-2 and Minn. Stat. 507.04
As a practical matter, this will involve the conservator petitioning the probate court for an Order allowing the conservator to consent to the conveyance. Most courts will do this ex-parte, without a hearing. The attorney should submit a Petition to Consent to Conveyance by Owner Spouse and a proposed Order. However, some courts may require notice to Interested Persons and a hearing. Therefore, the owner spouse should work with the incapacitated spouse’s conservator as soon as he/she plans on listing and selling the real estate, so that a potential sale/closing is not delayed.