FAQ Friday: Does a person under guardianship in Minnesota retain any rights?

faq brownFAQ 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:  Does a person under guardianship in Minnesota retain any rights?

Yes.  The rights that a person under guardianship or conservatorship in Minnesota retains are set forth in Minnesota Statute 524.5-120, which is known as “The Bill of Rights For Wards and Protected Persons”. 

Unless restricted by Court Order, those rights include the right to:

  1. treatment with dignity and respect;
  2. due consideration of current and previously stated personal desires, medical treatment preferences, religious beliefs, and other preferences and opinions in decisions made by the guardian or conservator;
  3. receive timely and appropriate health care and medical treatment that does not violate known conscientious, religious, or moral beliefs of the ward or protected person;
  4. exercise control of all aspects of life not delegated specifically by court order to the guardian or conservator;
  5. guardianship or conservatorship services individually suited to the ward or protected person’s conditions and needs;
  6. petition the court to prevent or initiate a change in abode;
  7. care, comfort, social and recreational needs, training, education, habilitation, and rehabilitation care and services, within available resources;
  8. be consulted concerning, and to decide to the extent possible, the reasonable care and disposition of the ward or protected person’s clothing, furniture, vehicles, and other personal effects, to object to the disposition of personal property and effects, and to petition the court for a review of the guardian’s or conservator’s proposed disposition;
  9. personal privacy;
  10. communication and visitation with persons of the ward or protected person’s choice, provided that if the guardian has found that certain communication or visitation may result in harm to the ward’s health, safety, or well-being, that communication or visitation may be restricted but only to the extent necessary to prevent the harm;
  11. marry and procreate, unless court approval is required, and to consent or object to sterilization as provided in section 524.5-313, paragraph (c), clause (4), item (iv);
  12. petition the court for termination or modification of the guardianship or conservatorship or for other appropriate relief;
  13. be represented by an attorney in any proceeding or for the purpose of petitioning the court; and
  14. vote, unless restricted by the court.

FAQ Friday: How long does it take to establish a guardianship in Minnesota?

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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:  How long does it take to get guardianship over someone in Minnesota?

The answer is that it depends.  It depends on what county the case is in (typically where the individual resides).  It depends on whether the matter will be contested or uncontested.  It depends on whether you are filing for an emergency or general guardianship. It depends on the court’s calendar (when a judge is available to hear the case).

In general, if the matter is uncontested and it is a general guardianship (as opposed to an emergency), it takes between 4 – 6 weeks.  (But, again, it depends on the county and the court’s calendar).

If the matter is contested it can take many months before the guardianship is established.

If it’s an emergency, the matter is typically decided (or at least set for hearing) within a week of filing the guardianship petition.

Because there are so many variables, you should consult with an attorney about the specific facts of your situation.

 

 

“Still Alice” Movie Trailer

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One of my all time favorite books is “Still Alice” by Lisa Genoa.  Still Alice is the story of Alice, a linguistics professor who is afflicted with early onset Alzheimer’s. I was so happy to see that it will be released as a movie on January 16, 2015.  For a little background and an exclusive movie trailer, visit this link from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room.

The most important reminder that I took away from the book, and this trailer, is “Live in the Moment”.

Stay tuned in mid-January for a more in depth review of the movie.

FAQ Friday: How does a guardian dispose of personal property?

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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’ve been appointed as guardian, so I know I’m in charge of my mom’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  How do I go about disposing of them or selling them?

In Minnesota, a guardian is responsible for a ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  A conservator, if one is appointed, would be responsible for all other property. Minnesota Statute 524.5-313(c)(3) sets forth your duties regarding the ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects.  Essentially, you must do as follows:

  • Fill out a Notice of Intent to Dispose of Clothing, Furniture, Vehicles or Other Personal Effects.  The form can be found on the Minnesota Court Website. Fill it out as completely as possible with details regarding what you intend to dispose of and how you intend to do that (i.e.  private sale, donate it to Goodwill, post it on Craigslist, etc).
  • Mail the notice on the Ward (the person for whom you are Guardian) and Interested Persons (defined by Minn. Stat. 524.5-102)
  • File the Notice and an Affidavit of Service with the Court.
  • Wait 10 days.  If you have not received an objection, you can proceed with your planned distribution of the personal property.  If you have received an objection, or one has been filed with the court, you need to wait until you receive an order from the court telling you what to do with the property (a hearing will be scheduled and held).

If you have questions on this process, speak with a qualified guardianship attorney.