Dakota County Guardianship Lawyer

imageA guardian is a person who has assumed legal responsibility pursuant to court appointment for a child without parents or an adult who cannot make his or her own personal decisions and manage his or her own life.

In a guardianship, the court grants the guardian only those powers that are necessary, taking into account the ward's abilities as well as his or her incapacity. These powers include:

  • Having custody of the ward or establishing where the ward will live
  • Providing for the ward's care, comfort, health care, social and recreational needs, training, education and the like
  • Taking care of the ward's clothes, furniture, vehicles and other personal effects
  • Giving consent to certain medical and professional care, treatment or services.
  • Approving or disapproving of contracts the ward wishes to make (unless there is also a conservator of the ward's estate)
  • Supervising the ward
  • Applying for public benefits on behalf of the ward (unless there is a conservator)

Who Needs To Establish Guardianship?

Guardianships can be used for providing for the care of minor children who no longer have a parent who can care for them. Parents can nominate a guardian for their children in their wills. When parents wish to voluntarily give another person the legal right to take care of their children, a guardianship might be appropriate, but there are other legal ways to achieve that result which should be carefully considered before taking the step of starting a petition for guardianship.

For guardianships of adults, the family members who typically benefit the most from a guardianship are adult disabled children, persons suffering from serious and permanent injuries such as traumatic brain injury, and the elderly.

There appears to be a developing line of case law in Minnesota that directs probate court to take into account custody orders and statutes when considering guardianship issues for young, disabled adult children.

Someone must petition the court for approval of a guardian and give notice to the ward's family members. Another person might respond by indicating that he or she would like to be the guardian. The proposed ward might object to the guardianship. The court will consider whether the needs of the ward could be met by other less restrictive alternatives. For these reasons, it is important to consult with an attorney who will work with you to understand the facts and intrafamily dynamics of the case before a decision to pursue a guardianship is made.

Meet With A Knowledgeable Guardianship Lawyer

I invite you to contact me with any questions you have about establishing guardianships or any family law matter. I will review your situation and recommend the best course of action. I work with clients in Dakota County and throughout the Twin Cities.