At Unique Estate Law, our comprehensive estate planning services include arranging legal guardianships for families in Hennepin County. We are keenly aware anyone can be seriously injured in an accident or suffer an incapacitating illness. Depending on the circumstances, the only way to protect the rights of a loved one incapable of caring for themselves may be to establish legal guardianship.
Minnesota recognizes two types of guardianships: guardian of the person and guardian of the estate:
- A guardian of the person is responsible for the ward’s personal care, health, and welfare, including decisions related to medical treatment, housing, and education. Notably, a guardian is obligated to maintain the ward’s autonomy to the extent possible.
- A guardian of the estate manages the ward’s financial matters, such as assets, income, and property. The guardian can also apply for public benefits, such as Medicaid and Social Security, on the ward’s behalf.
In some cases, the same person may serve as both a guardian of the person and the estate.
Guardianship also plays a crucial role in protecting the legal rights of minors, particularly when a parent becomes incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities. In such circumstances, a trusted close relative is commonly entrusted with the role of guardian. The need to appoint a guardian arises in several situations, including when:
- The child’s parents are incapacitated or deceased
- The parent(s) fail to provide adequate care for the child
- The child is subjected to abuse
Importantly, seeking parental consent is typically a prerequisite before initiating any legal proceedings for guardianship. Also, guardianship does not terminate the legal relationship between the biological parents and the child.
What rights does a ward have?
Because a guardian has an obligation to act in the best interests of the ward, the appointed person must be capable and trustworthy. In particular, appointing a guardian may limit certain rights of a protected individual, such as:
- Choosing a residence
- Entering contracts
- Obtaining a driver’s license
- Getting married
- Receiving informed consent for medical treatment
- Making end-of-life decisions
On the other hand, a ward still retains due process rights, including the right to attend legal proceedings related to the guardianship and to be represented by an attorney who can present evidence and question any witnesses.
How Our Firm Can Help
Being the guardian of a minor child or adult is a serious responsibility, which makes having a skilled Hennepin County guardianship attorney essential. At Unique Estate Law, you can depend on our team to provide you with skilled representation and help you arrange for the care of your loved one. Our attorneys will:
- Help prepare the required guardianship form and documentation
- Assist with filing the guardianship petition with the court
- Represent you at the guardianship hearing
You can depend on us to offer you compassion and knowledge and help you make informed decisions. Our firm will also provide ongoing counsel to help you fulfill your duties as guardian, including filing the annual accounting with the probate court. We understand that placing a loved one under guardianship is a difficult decision. Trust us to stand by you every step of the way.
Talk To An Experienced Hennepin County Guardianship Attorney Today
At Unique Estate Law, we assist clients from all walks of life, including LGBTQ+ families, with establishing guardianships. When you work with us, you will have comfort with our experienced guardianship lawyer handling your case. Get in touch with us today.