navigate to homemn guardianship lawyermn conservatorship attorneyminnesota probate lawyerminnesota willscivil and criminal appealscontact a minnesota lawyer

Conservator and Guardian Powers

Minnesota Conservatorship & Guardianship Law

Guardians and conservators can have very broad or very limited powers under Minnesota guardianship and conservatorship law. In a sense, all of a guardian's or conservator's powers are limited in that they are always subject to review, control, and direction of the court.

Technically, the guardian or conservator is simply an agent who acts for the court. In a very real sense, the court is the true guardian or conservator of the ward. The court, in granting any powers, is essentially granting its own authority to the person named as guardian or conservator.

Procedurally, the petitioner will ask for, based on proof of necessity, whatever powers the guardian/conservator needs to protect the ward/estate. While the petitioner may ask for one specific power, it is common to ask for general powers.

General powers are granted in many cases, because by the time the ward or protected person needs a guardian/conservator, the ward or protected person is often incapacitated to such an extent that he or she is practically unable to manage any of his or her own affairs.

However, where possible, and where courts are able, the courts prefer to grant only such powers as necessary to carry out the role as protector and manager. If the ward cannot reliably make complex health care decisions but can dress and feed him or herself, then the court should not be granting the guardian authority to provide for a personal care attendant to perform such daily tasks—the ward can do that alone.

Guardian with Limited Powers

If the guardian is to have specific, limited powers, then the powers must be requested in the petition. The following are examples of powers available to guardians.

Custody: The power to have custody of the ward and to determine where the ward shall live.

Care: The power to provide for the ward's care, comfort, and maintenance needs.

Personal property: The power to take care of the ward's clothing, furniture, vehicles, or other personal property.

Medical treatment: The power to provide consent for medical or other professional care, treatment, or services, on behalf of and for the ward.

Contracts: The power to enter into or to refuse to enter into any contract, except certain contracts that a lawyer can discuss with you.

Supervision: The power to supervise the ward and the care of the ward.

Public assistance: The power to apply for public assistance or benefits (such as medical assistance) for the ward through any agency of government.

The petition may ask for any other powers that the guardian may require. The statutory powers are not exhaustive.

If the ward is a minor, then the petition may further ask for parental powers, where the guardian would have the authority to act as if he or she were the minor ward's parent.

Conservator with Limited Powers

If the conservator is to have limited powers, then the powers must be specifically requested in the petition. The following are examples of powers available to conservators.

Support: The power to pay reasonable costs for the support, maintenance, and education of the protected person. The expenses must reflect consistency with the protected person's lifestyle, station, and circumstances.

Pay debts: The power to settle any legitimate debts that the protected person or the estate owes.

Estate: The power to possess and manage the estate of the protected person, including to collect debts owed to the estate or protected person, to pursue legal claims on behalf of the estate, and to invest those assets of the estate that are not required to debts, expenses, and management of the estate.

Real property: The power to transfer or sell an undivided interest in the estate's real property.

Contracts: The power to approve or to decline to approve any contract on behalf of the protected person.

Public assistance: The power to seek public assistance or benefits on behalf of the protected person.

The conservator may need other, limited powers, which must be requested by petition. Other powers will be evaluated by the court for appropriateness.

For more information or to hire an attorney, please contact me, a Minnesota conservatorship lawyer.

guardian conservator
Service Areas: I am willing to represent clients throughout Minnesota, including Redwood County, Sibley County, Waseca County, Big Stone County, Chippewa County, Koochiching County, Le Sueur County, McLeod County, Polk County, or Watonwan County, just to name a few. Whether you are in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, orAlexandria, Blue Earth, Preston, Albert Lea, Red Wing, Elbow Lake, Minneapolis, Caledonia, Park Rapids, or Cambridge, I will represent you.