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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

The responsibilities of a conservator in Minnesota

There are certain legal terms in Minnesota when it comes to inheritance that an heir might not fully understand. This doesn't imply that the word itself is confusing, but the duties of a person whose responsibility it is to function as a conservator are not entirely clear. What are the steps that must be taken to perform the tasks in an aboveboard fashion? There are certain rules that a conservator must follow on an annual basis to adhere to the responsibilities.

The conservator's job is to oversee another's financial and personal issues. To fulfill this responsibility, it is necessary to note the date of when the conservatorship went into effect and track it annually. After being named the conservator, the individual should file an Inventory Report with the state within 60 days. This only must be done once. It is wise to be fully organized before visiting the state website associated with conservatorships. For every year there is a conservatorship, the conservator should log into the system within 30 days of that anniversary date. An Annual Accounting must be filed. In addition, there must be an original copy of the Verification of Funds on Deposit and Verification of Stocks and Securities.

Each year of the conservatorship, the conservator should fill out and sign the Annual Notice of Right to Petition to Restoration to Capacity and do so within 30 days of the anniversary. Copies can be provided to the ward and any interested person such as an heir. If the person for whom the conservator was functioning as a representative returns to full capacity, there is a form to restore that capacity that must be filled out. A successor to the conservator can be named if he or she is no longer able or willing to serve in the role.

Given the importance of a conservator, it is not uncommon for there to be misunderstandings as to the rules that must be followed and the duties that must be carried out. Some heirs might not agree with the way in which a conservator is dealing with a situation. One of the most important factors in a conservatorship is to make certain all the legal issues are properly handled. For that, speaking to an experienced legal professional can provide guidance as to the issues that frequently arise.

Source: mncourts.gov, "Duties for Conservators," accessed on July 28, 2015

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