Issue: What is the basic law applicable to an application for co-guardianship in Minnesota?
|Area of Law:||Family Law, Municipal, County and Local Law|
|Keywords:||Co-guardianship; Application; Best interest of the ward|
|Cited Cases:||733 N.W.2d 506; 303 Minn. 226; 478 N.W.2d 790; 226 N.W.2d 895; 347 N.W.2d 62; 286 N.W. 245; 205 Minn. 399|
|Cited Statutes:||Minn. Stat. § 524.5-301, § 524.5-303(a), § 524.5-309(a), § 524.5-309(b)|
Under Minnesota guardianship law, which is based on the Uniform Guardianship and Protected Persons Act, a person may become a guardian of an incapacitated person either through a parental or spousal appointment, or upon appointment by the court. See Minn. Stat. § 524.5-301 (2010). Any person interested in an individual’s welfare may petition the court for a determination of incapacity of that individual, in whole or in part, and for the appointment of a limited or unlimited guardian for the individual. Id. § 524.5-303(a).
The guardianship statute prioritizes who may be appointed as guardian. The court, in appointing a guardian, must consider persons otherwise qualified in the following order of priorityFN1:
- a health care agent appointed by the respondent in a health care directive that does not include limitations on the nomination of the health care agent as a guardian;
- a parent of the respondent;
- an adult with whom the respondent has resided for more than six months before the filing of the petition;
- an adult who is related to the respondent by blood, adoption, or marriage; and
- any other adult or a professional guardian.
Id. § 524.5-309(a). See also Schmidt v. Hebeisen, 347 N.W.2d 62, 64 (Minn. Ct. App. 1984) (explaining that “[c]ourts generally select someone with family ties or the nominees of such persons when appointing a guardian. However, that requirement is not mandatory and the court will disregard the application of a family member if […]