We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

Guardianship disputes can sometimes involve more than property

Minnesota residents understand that it is not uncommon for people to get into disputes. Whether it is between a friend, a colleague or a family member, their disagreements could range from a small tiff to a major uproar. In some cases, arguments often involve disputes about a person's property. Unfortunately, it does happen from time to time that family members get involved in will contests or other probate litigation after a person has died and left behind property.

At other points, disputes can emerge during a Minnesota guardianship if family members believe that the guardian or conservator is not managing property appropriately. However, guardianships many times involve a lot more than managing a person's financial affairs.

As a case in point, an Amish family in another state took the drastic step recently by fleeing their home with their daughter who is struggling to overcome cancer. The family fled after a hospital successfully filed for a guardianship over the girl who is a minor and is by law considered unable to make her own medical and financial decisions.

The hospital filed this guardianship after the families opted to stop chemotherapy because they felt it was not healthy for their daughter. The parents, however, have elected instead to rely on alternative medicine. The court-appointed guardian, who wants to continue the conventional treatment, says that without the chemotherapy, the girl will probably die. On the other hand, the conventional medicine has a good chance of saving the girl. The probate judge overseeing the case sided with the parents, only to be overturned by the state's court of appeals. At issue is the constitutional right of the parent's to make medical decisions on behalf of their daughter, even if those decisions go against more prevalent practices.

This story illustrates that in Minnesota, sometimes disputes over a guardianship can involve much more than a person's property or inheritance. Many times, the sorts of decisions guardians make can affect or even end the life of another person - and not just children. Guardianships can come into play for adults as well, where they are no longer able to make important decisions on their own behalf. In these sorts of cases, it may be even more important for family members to take advantage of the wisdom and experience of a seasoned probate attorney.

Source: Forbes, "Could you lose the right to make medical decisions for your child?" Jan. 27, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map