If you are concerned about the well-being of someone close to you, a guardianship or conservatorship may be an option to consider. These proceedings become necessary when an individual loses his or her ability to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, whether because of age, mental illness, physical illness, chemical dependency, or some other cause.
In Minnesota, guardians can be appointed to manage one’s personal affairs, and conservators can be appointed to manage one’s finances. When a petition is filed, the Court immediately appoints an attorney to represent that respondent’s interests and a court visitor to explain the proceedings to the respondent.
It’s important to consider whether there are alternatives that might be more applicable for your specific circumstances, including Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, or some form of limited decision-making, allowing the respondent to partially maintain his or her autonomy.
Deciding whether to pursue a guardianship is no easy choice. The terminology and options available can be daunting. There are also requirements to be met following the appointment of a guardian or conservator, including annual reporting. The attorneys at PLM will be there with you throughout the entire process, weighing the best choices for your specific circumstance, all while respecting the respondent’s rights to respect and privacy.