There are several types of guardianships, but, generally, a guardian is a person appointed by the court to manage financial affairs of another person who does not have capacity to manage his/her affairs. In some cases, guardianship can be avoided by the use of a power of attorney or trust.
In the case of a person who has lost the capacity to manage their own affairs, a relative or interested person will file a petition with the court for a guardianship. The petition will include information about the person’s medic al condition and financial affairs. A statement from a physician stating that the proposed ward has diminished capacity is usually necessary for the appointment of a guardian. All relatives and other interested persons are given notice of the guardianship proceeding and are provided an opportunity for input.
In Minnesota, a person subject to the guardianship petition has the right to meet with an attorney or other representative to protect his/her interest. A guardianship is a big deal, because, in most cases, the person subject to the guardianship will lose the right to handle his/her own financial affairs.
After a guardian has been appointed, the guardian must report to the court regularly as to the physical condition of the person subject to the guardianship and finances of the guardianship.