What Are My Duties As A Guardian?

A court-appointed guardian oversees medical, health and residential decisions for a protected person (also known as a ward). Family members, friends, or third parties can be appointed as guardians.

If an older adult or other incapacitated person has not expressed their wishes related to their health care in an advance directive, it is possible that relatives may hold conflicting opinions over what is best for them. By establishing a legal guardian, the court is directing a specified party to take responsibility for the protected person’s care. This person will also be accountable to the court for their oversight of the protected person.

Establishing A Guardianship For An Older Adult

Once it is clear that a person can no longer make responsible decisions related to their medical care, nutrition, safety or shelter, the family can file a petition in order to receive a hearing date on the matter. The court will consider statements by a physician who has examined the older adult, as well as an informational statement about his or her condition. If no other less restrictive alternative can be found to establishing the guardianship, the court will issue an order. The guardian will receive a letter of guardianship, which provides evidence of his or her authority to act on behalf of the protected person.

The Duties Of A Guardian

Guardians of older adults play a crucial role in that person’s day-to-day life experience. A guardian is responsible for:

  • Determining where the protected person will live
  • Providing for the care of the protected person, and approving the medical treatment they receive
  • Caring for the protected person’s personal belongings, including their clothing, furniture and personal effects

Each year, a guardian must fill out a Personal Well-Being Report related to the protected person, and send them and all interested parties a copy of the Annual Notice of Right to Petition for Restoration to Capacity form. A lawyer can help you understand and properly file these notices if you are named as someone’s guardian.

Let Us Guide Your Guardianship Journey

Attorney Mary Ebb can help you act as a guardian for a loved one in Minnesota. Learn more by calling 651-323-2236 or contacting us online.