What is a conservatorship?

What are the powers and duties of a Minnesota conservator?

How to establish a Minnesota conservatorship.

You are appointed conservator, now what?

Q: What is a conservatorship?

A conservator is someone who has been given legal authority by a court to handle the financial affairs of an individual who is unable to manage his or her own finances. A protected person is a person who has a conservator. The court will appoint a conservator when it has been determined that an individual is not able to manage his or her own finances usually due to a medical condition such as a developmental disability, dementia, brain injury or stroke. The court appoints a conservator when there is a need to pay for needed care, to manage money or to recover stolen assets and when there is no less restrictive alternative than a conservatorship. The conservator acts as an agent of the court. The conservator has a fiduciary responsibility to conserve and manage the protected person’s estate and is accountable to the court for the management of the estate.

Simply Put

Guardianship = person (health and well being)

Conservatorship = assets (money and property)

In many cases they go hand in hand but not always. A ward may have a Financial Power of Attorney that already allows someone else to handle financial matters but NOT a Health Care Directive that provides for the power to handle medical decisions.

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Q: What are the powers and duties of a Minnesota conservator?

A conservator main priority is to act in the best interest of the ward or protected person. The powers and duties that may be granted by the court include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The duty to pay the reasonable charges for the support, maintenance, and education of the protected person.
  2. The duty to pay out of the protected person’s estate all just and lawful debts of the protected person.
  3. The duty to possess and manage the estate, collect all debts and claims in favor of the protected person and invest all funds not needed for debts, charges, and the management of the estate in accordance with the Prudent Investor Rule.
  4. The power to approve or withhold approval of any contract, except for necessities, which the protected person may make or wish to make.
  5. The power to apply for government assistance on behalf of the protected person

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Q: How to establish a Minnesota conservatorship.

Any person may petition for the appointment of a conservator by filing a petition requesting appointment with the probate court of the county of residence of the proposed ward or protected person.

The court will appoint an attorney to represent the proposed ward or protected person if neither the proposed ward or protected person or others provide counsel. A court hearing is required with the proposed ward or protected person present unless that person waives the right to appear in person or is not able to attend by reason of a medical condition as evidenced by a written statement from a licensed physician.

If after the hearing the court finds that a conservator is needed, and no less restrictive alternative is appropriate, then a court will issue an order. 

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Q: You are appointed conservator, now what?

Within 60 days of appointment, you must file with the court an inventory of the protected person’s real and personal property. A court order, after hearing and notice, is required before you may sell, mortgage, or lease real property of the protected person. 

Within 30 days of the anniversary of the appointment date, you must file an annual accounting with the court and you will also need to serve notice to the ward and protected person of the right to petition for restoration of capacity, discharge of guardian or conservator, or modification of the order of conservatorship each year.

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From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, St. Paul, and Brooklyn Park.

9.3Chris Tymchuck

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5901 Cedar Lake Rd., Minneapolis, MN 55416
| Phone: 952-358-7400

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9.3Chris Tymchuck