In cases involving vulnerable individuals who cannot care for themselves, courts in Minnesota have the authority to appoint a person to represent these individuals and make sound decisions on their behalf. Known as a guardian or conservator, these people are responsible for looking after the physical (guardian) and financial (conservator) well-being and important interests of impaired adults, including seniors who have been declared incompetent by the probate court.
What Does a Guardian/Conservator Do?
When an individual experiences mental decline or incapacity, it is important to safeguard his or her legal rights. In many cases, the same person serves as both guardian and conservator.
The guardian’s main duty is to ensure the ward is treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. He or she speaks with family members and caregivers, oversees finances, arranges health care, coordinates with mental health professionals and social workers, obtains critical community support services, and appears in court on behalf of the ward and the family.
Naming Your Guardian/Conservator
A guardianship can last for years – even decades. Fortunately, the laws that govern estate planning make it possible for you to appoint a person to serve in these roles by naming them in your estate documents.
If, however, you fail to name a guardian or conservator in your will or other estate planning documents, the court may appoint one on your behalf. This is why it is very important to plan early. A sudden illness or unexpected incapacity could prevent you from creating an estate plan when you need it most.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office to learn more and to discuss your options.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.