Clients often ask me what they can expect at the court hearing on the petition for guardianship and conservatorship. Caveat – this applies to uncontested hearings. Contested hearings are completely different – and are typically like a trial where the rules of evidence apply. Even with uncontested hearings, there is a caveat. And that is that each county and indeed, each judge, does things differently. But in general, for an uncontested hearing on a petition for guardianship and/or conservatorship, you can expect the following:
- Once your case is called the hearing itself is very short. Typically less than 10 minutes.
- The petitioner and the respondent (person for whom guardianship is being sought) and their attorneys are present.
- Testimony is taken from the Petitioner to “prove up” the guardianship petition. This is usually a series of leading questions that establish the contents of the petition – including who the parties are and why a guardianship and/or conservatorship is necessary.
- The Physician’s Statement (if there is one) and the Court Visitor’s report are made part of the record
- The Court asks the Respondent’s attorney for the Respondent’s position on the matter. Typically the Respondent’s attorney will give a statement about the contact that was made with the Respondent, the preferences the Respondent expressed and any other due diligence that the attorney did to ensure that guardianship is necessary and appropriate.
- The Court will then order guardianship/conservatorship and sign the Order and Letters. There is sometimes a delay with signing these if the background study is not back, or if bond needs to be put in place (for conservatorships).
If you have specific questions about guardianship and conservatorship court in Minnesota, please feel free to reach out to me.