The Order and Letters, a Guardian and Conservator’s Authorization to Act:

What documents give the Guardian and/or Conservator of an individual the power to act?

  • The Order Appointing Guardian and/or Conservator
  • The Letters of Guardianship and/or Conservatorship (often referred to as “the Letters”)

The Order is the document where the Court makes specific Findings about the factual basis for the need for a guardianship or conservatorship.  It is the Order that sets forth the specific powers and authority that the Guardian and/or Conservator has with regard to the ward or protected person.  Typically the Court will “check” certain boxes on the Order, indicating which statutory provisions the Guardian or Conservator has authority under.  In cases where a full guardianship is necessary, the Court will check the box indicating that all the powers under Minnesota Statute are necessary, and will then also explain why a limited guardianship is not appropriate.  A form Order Appointing Guardian and Conservator can be found on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.  For further guidance on the full scope of each statutory power that is checked by the Court, one would look to the statute itself, as well as case law interpreting the statute.  If help is needed understanding the full scope of a Guardian or Conservator’s powers, you should consult with an experienced guardianship and conservatorship attorney.

The Letters are the document which provide “proof” that the Guardian and/or Conservator has the authority to act.  A form Letters of Guardianship and Conservatorship can be found on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.

After being appointed, the Guardian or Conservator obtains certified copies of the Order Appointing and of the Letters.  In combination, these are the documents which give the Guardian/Conservator the ability to act on behalf of the ward/protected person.  The Guardian or Conservator will need to present these documents to individuals or entities that the Guardian interacts with on behalf of the ward (for example, nursing homes, medical providers, banks, etc.).


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