At some point in our lives, we may need to make difficult decisions for our loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves due to age, illness, or disability. In these times, it’s important to have a trustworthy attorney who can guide us through the legal process of guardianship and conservatorship.

At Safe Harbor Estate Law, we understand the emotional and legal complexities of these situations. Our experienced attorneys have helped many families in Minnesota navigate the legal system to ensure that their loved ones receive the best possible care and protection.

If you’re facing the challenging decisions of guardianship and conservatorship, don’t go through it alone. Let our Minnesota guardianship attorneys guide you through the process and provide peace of mind. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.

Guardianship Vs. Conservatorship in Minnesota

When a loved one cannot care for themselves, it may be necessary to establish legal arrangements to ensure their well-being. In Minnesota, two options for such arrangements are guardianship and conservatorship.

While these terms may seem similar, they have distinct differences that you should understand before deciding.


Guardianship is a legal arrangement where the court appoints a legal guardian to make healthcare decisions for a protected person (called a ward), and to decide where the ward should live. Protected persons subject to guardianship can be minors or incapacitated adults who can’t make responsible decisions about their life..

In these cases, the guardian has the authority to make these important decisions on their behalf, ensuring their well-being and safety.

Establishing Guardianship

In Minnesota, the general legal requirements for establishing guardianship include:

  • Filing a petition with the probate court
  • Providing clear and convincing evidence of the individual’s incapacity or disability, and
  • Attending a court hearing

The court may also appoint an attorney to represent the protected person. The guardian will have ongoing responsibilities under court supervision to make sure the ward is being taken care of. Having an experienced elder law attorney can help make sure proposed guardians understand their full obligations and the regulations under MN law.


Conservatorship is a legal arrangement where a person or entity is appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs of someone unable to do so on their own. This includes individuals who can’t make sound financial or estate decisions, often due to physical or mental incapacity or illness.

A conservator is given the authority to make important financial decisions on behalf of the person subject to conservatorship, such as paying bills, investing assets, selling real estate, entering into contracts, and other financial matters. The ultimate goal of a conservatorship is to ensure that the protected person’s financial affairs are properly managed and that their needs are met.

Establishing Conservatorship

In Minnesota, the general legal requirements for establishing conservatorship include:

  1. Filing a petition with the probate court
  2. Providing evidence of the individual’s incapacity or disability
  3. Attending a court hearing

The conservator will have additional duties after being appointed including transferring assets to a conservator account, filing inventory/annual accountings, and keeping accurate records. Hiring an experienced attorney for assistance is a good idea if you have concerns about completing your roles and responsibilities.

Why You Need an Experienced Minnesota Guardianship Attorney

If you are considering establishing guardianship or conservatorship for an aging loved one in Minnesota, it’s important to have the guidance and support of an experienced attorney.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Knowledge of Minnesota law — An experienced guardianship and conservatorship attorney in Minnesota will thoroughly understand state laws and regulations related to these legal arrangements.
  • Navigating the probate court process — An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, from filing the necessary paperwork to representing you in court.
  • Advocating for your loved one — A knowledgeable attorney will prioritize the best interests of your loved one throughout the guardianship or conservatorship process.
  • Handling complex situations — In some cases, establishing legal guardianship or conservatorship can be complicated by family disputes, contested decision-making, or conflicting interests. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these complex situations and find the best possible outcome for your loved one.

Working with an experienced Minnesota guardianship and conservatorship attorney can provide peace of mind and ensure your loved one’s legal arrangements are established in their best interest.

If you have questions or concerns about the guardianship or conservatorship process, don’t hesitate to contact a compassionate and knowledgeable team member for guidance.

Secure Your Loved Ones Future With Safe Harbor Estate Law

If you or your loved one are facing difficult decisions about guardianship or conservatorship, don’t go through it alone.

At Safe Harbor Estate Law, we understand the emotional stress and legal complexities involved in these situations. Our experienced Minnesota guardianship and conservatorship attorneys are here to help you navigate the process and provide compassionate guidance every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let us help you find the best solution for your unique situation. Our top priority is your loved one’s well-being, and we’re committed to helping you put their future in safe and secure hands.

FAQ: Guardianship and Conservatorship in Minnesota

How do I know if guardianship or conservatorship is appropriate for my loved one?

The decision to establish guardianship, conservatorship, or both should be made in consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your loved one’s needs are met. However, some general factors that may indicate the need for guardianship or conservatorship include mental or physical incapacity, disability, or illness..

Are there alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship?

Yes, alternative options such as a power of attorney, healthcare directives, and trusts may be appropriate depending on the individual’s specific situation. Discussing these options with a knowledgeable attorney is important to determine what is best for your loved one.

How long does the guardianship and conservatorship process take?

The process can vary depending on the case’s specifics, but it can take several months to establish guardianship or conservatorship. Working with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that everything is handled properly and efficiently is important.

Can I change guardians or conservators if I’m not happy with their performance?

Yes, it is possible to petition the court to change guardians or conservators if concerns about their performance or the individual’s needs have changed. However, working with an experienced attorney is important to ensure everything is handled properly and following the law.

How much does it cost to establish guardianship or conservatorship?

The cost can vary depending on the case’s specifics and the attorney you choose to work with. It’s important to discuss fees and costs with your attorney upfront and ensure that you understand what is involved in the process.

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