Temporary Successor Guardian Appointment in Minnesota

What can be done if the current guardian is not adequately performing his or her duties and the welfare of the ward is in jeopardy?

Under Minnesota Statute 524.5-312, the Court has authority to appoint a temporary substitute guardian. That statute provides:
(a) If the court finds that a guardian is not effectively performing the guardian’s duties and that the welfare of the ward requires immediate action, it may appoint a temporary substitute guardian for the ward for a specified period not exceeding six months. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, a temporary substitute guardian so appointed has the powers set forth in the previous order of appointment. The authority of any unlimited or limited guardian previously appointed by the court is suspended as long as a temporary substitute guardian has authority. If an appointment is made without previous notice to the ward or the affected guardian, within five days after the appointment, the court shall inform the ward or guardian of the appointment.

(b) The court may remove a temporary substitute guardian at any time. A temporary substitute guardian shall make any report the court requires. In other respects, the provisions of this article concerning guardians apply to a temporary substitute guardian.

This is a good option if the normal procedures to appoint a successor guardian (which include petition and notice, just like in initially establishing a guardianship) cannot be followed, or if someone is not immediately available to serve as permanent guardian. A temporary substitute guardian can be appointed ex parte by the court, without notice to the ward, guardian or all interested persons. However, if that is done, then within 5 days after the appointment, the ward and guardian must be given notice of the appointment.

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