• Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

    Paper and pen agreement
    Agreement by jarmoluk

    Our estate attorneys regularly counsel clients on a broad array of matters ranging from basic wills to complex trust agreements and business succession planning. Our attorneys make it a point to take the time to understand our clients’ ultimate goals, and then work closely with them to develop an individual plan to assist them in meeting those goals.

    Our estate planning services include:

    • Cabin Trusts
    • Charitable & Family Gift Planning
    • Conservatorships
    • Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning
    • Family Business Succession Planning
    • Guardianships
    • Health Care Directives
    • Medical Assistance Planning
    • Multi-Generational Estate Planning and Trusts
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Preparation of Wills
    • Probate and Trust Administration
    • Revocable Trusts
    • Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts
    • Stock Options and Executive Benefits

    We also routinely represent individuals and fiduciaries, including trust companies and personal representatives, in estate and trust administration before the Court

  • Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
    Financial ledger with names and amounts on it.
    Numbers by Pixabay

    If someone is unable to make their own legal or financial decisions, a conservator or guardian may be appointed by the court. A person may need a conservatorship or guardianship due to cognitive or mental health issues, certain kinds of disabilities, or as an elderly individual who may be suffering from progressive dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Let us help guide you through which court process is right for the situation, or help to develop a less restrictive strategy, depending on the needs of the individual.

    contact us today to learn more and set up a consultation today.

    Conservatorship/Guardianship Basics

    A conservatorship or guardianship is established through a legal action, or proceeding. In this proceeding, the court orders the appointment of a person (a conservator or guardian) to act as a decision maker for another person (the protected person or ward). The court bases this decision on clear and convincing evidence that the protected person or ward has been found to be unable to make necessary decisions on his or her own behalf. A conservator is not the same as a guardian, because each role contains different roles and responsibilities.

    Conservator

    A conservator is a person, institution or agency appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs of the protected person, known as a conservatee or protected person.The conservator typically has the power to contract, to pay bills, invest assets, and perform other financial functions for the protected person.

    The conservator has the authority and responsibility to properly handle the protected person’s property and income. The State of Minnesota requires the filing of an annual report disclosing the management of funds subject to the conservatorship.

    Guardian

    A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of the protected person about health and welfare matters, such as decisions on where to live, assisting with medical decisions, consent to agree or refuse treatment, where to work/receive training, etc.

    Generally speaking, a competent person such as a family member, friend or non-related professional can be a conservator or guardian if they are:

    • over the age of 18;
    • not convicted of a felony;
    • able to post bond, if necessary; and,
    • not legally disabled.

    Conservators or guardians can also be public or private institutions if a relative or friend is not available, or in certain cases where such arrangements would not be deemed healthy or appropriate for the protected person.

    Conservatee/Ward

    A conservatee or ward is a minor or legally incapacitated adult who can receive a court-appointed conservator. A conservatee or ward must lack sufficient understanding or capacity to understand or make responsible decisions regarding their health, safety, welfare or exhibit the inability to make their own legal and financial decisions. A determination on the capacity of a person to make their own decisions is usually provided by a medical doctor or other qualified medical or mental health practitioner.

    Appointment Process

    A conservatorship or guardianship is established through legal action in district court. The person who files a petition with the court requesting that a conservatorship or guardianship be established is known as the petitioner.

    The court will request an investigation into the need for conservatorship or guardianship. The court will base its decision on clear and convincing evidence that the conservatee or ward has been found unable to make important decisions on his or her behalf.

    At a minimum, the following will need to be provided:

    • the nature and type of disability and an explanation of how it impacts the person’s financial and personal decision making;
    • an analysis of the conservatee or ward’s medical and physical condition, education level, behavior and social skills; and,
    • a qualified medical doctor’s or mental health practitioner’s opinion(s) about the need for conservatorship or guardianship and the supporting reasons.

    In Minnesota, the law encourages us to try other things before conservatorship or guardianship, depending on the situation, including:

    • setting up a power of attorney;
    • naming a representative payee for social security benefits; or,
    • getting a case manager assigned by the county of residence.

    Contact An Attorney For Conservatorship/Guardianship Assistance Today

    At Franz Hultgren Evenson, P.A., we establish close working relationships with clients, resulting in strong and effective representation. If someone you know is in need of the protection that a conservatorship or guardianship can provide, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with an experienced guardianship/conservatorship attorney. We will listen to your questions and concerns and assist you in every step of the process.