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’m thinking of becoming guardian and conservator for my aging mother. Are there any informational resources that give me an overview of the duties and responsibilities of being a guardian or conservator in Minnesota?
Yes! The Minnesota Judicial Branch has produced a series of educational video segments on what it means to be a guardian and conservator in Minnesota. Potential guardians and conservators are required to watch these videos in certain judicial districts in Minnesota (2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th Districts) and to note on their Acceptance of Appointment that they have watched the videos.
The topics of the video segments are as follows:
- Introduction to Guardianships and Conservatorships
- What Guardianship Is and Is Not
- Less Restrictive Alternatives To Guardianship and Conservatorship
- Duties and Responsibilities of a Guardian
- Duties and Responsibilities of a Conservator
- Annual Reporting Requirements and Oversight by the Court
- Common Issues and Problems
The videos are short, but filled with great information on what it means to take on the responsibility of being a guardian or conservator in Minnesota.
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).