When Do You Need a Background Study for a Guardianship in Minnesota?

Minnesota Statute 524.5-118 sets forth the requirements for a background study on guardians.  There are certain people who are exempt.  The statute provides the details.  However, in general, you are exempt if:

  • You have had a background study done within the previous 5 years;
  • You are a State or County Agency
  • You are a parent or guardian of a ward who has a developmental disability and you have raised the ward in your home until the time the petition was filed.
  • You are a a bank with trust powers, bank and trust company, or trust company, organized under the laws of any state or of the United States and which is regulated by the commissioner of commerce or a federal regulator.

The form for the background study is available on the State Court website.  If you have petitioned to be a guardian or conservator, you should complete the form and turn it to DHS prior to the first court hearing, because it typically takes a few weeks for DHS to complete the study and notify the Court of the results.

The study involves the following:   criminal history data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, other criminal history data held by the commissioner of human services, and data regarding whether the person has been a perpetrator of substantiated maltreatment of a vulnerable adult and a minor.  In the even the proposed guardian hasn’t lived in Minnesota for the previous five years, then additionally the court “shall request a search of the National Criminal Records Repository if the proposed guardian or conservator has not resided in Minnesota for the previous five years or if the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension information received from the commissioner of human services under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), indicates that the subject is a multistate offender or that the individual’s multistate offender status is undetermined.”


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