Survey: Guardianship and Conservatorship in Minnesota

If you are someone who has had experience with guardianship and conservatorship in the probate court system, this survey is intended to give you a voice and tell about your experience.

The survey is organized into the following sections:

1. Protected Person Information
2. Probate Hearing Information
3. Protected Person Attorney Information
4. Your Involvement With Ward
5. Guardian/Conservator Information
6. Protected Person’s Care and Life
7. Protected Person’s Estate
8. Guardianship/Conservator Advocacy
9. Additional Information - SUBMIT

We acknowledge that this survey is long, but many questions may not apply to your experience and you are not required to answer all questions. Your experiences are very valuable to us and encourage you to provide as much information as you can.

To submit you inputs, make sure you press SUBMIT at the end of the survey, After you submit your survey inputs, you will be provided with a link to provide additional updates to your responses in the survey.

Responses can be submitted anonymously, but we encourage you to provide contact information so we can contact you for additional details about your experience if needed.

Information collected through the survey will be used to identify areas where there needs to be reform in the guardianship/conservatorship systems. Individual responses will be kept confidential.

Section 1. Protected Person/Wards Information
1a. Ward's Name:
Your answer
1b. Ward's gender:
1c. Ward's age:
If the ward is no longer alive, provide the wards age at time of death.
Your answer
1d. Ward's age when placed under guardianship/conservatorship:
Your answer
1e. Guardianship/conservatorship case number:
Your answer
1f. Rate experience with probate court system.
Please rate the overall experience for the ward. Enter 5 for neutral or no opinion.
Bad- Ward was harmed by probate court invovement
Good - Ward benefited from probate court invovement
Section 2. Probate Hearing Information
2a. What county was guardianship/conservatorship ordered in?
2b. Who was the judge or judicial officer?
Your answer
2c. What year did the guardianship/conservatorship become active?
2d. Was this an emergency guardianship/conservatorship?
2e. Did the ward have a documented POA and health care directive?
2f. Was there any conflict over who the ward had designated as POA and health care advocate?
If Yes - Please describe conflict.
Describe conflict over POA or heath care advocate:
Your answer
2g. Was the ward properly notified of the probate court hearing?
2h. Did the ward attend the probate court hearing?
2i. Identify any interference with the ward attending the probate court hearing?
Also, please describe interference.
Additional details of Interference:
Your answer
2j. Was the ward cross-examined on the stand to determine competency?
If Yes - Please explain the effects of cross-examination.
Effect of cross-examination:
Your answer
2k. Were other family members or interested parties properly notified and given option to attend guardianship hearing?
If No - Please describe problems with notification.
Problems with notification:
Your answer
2l. What was the reason that the probate court became involved in the wards life?
Check all that apply and please provide additional information if possible.
Additional information on how probate court became involved:
Your answer
2m. What was the motivation behind probate court involvement?
Please provide additional information on motivation.
2n. Was competency evaluation performed by a qualified professional?
If No - Describe provide additional details.
Details of competency evaluation:
Your answer
2o. Was incapacity based on an accurate diagnosis?
2p. What was enacted by court?
2q. Were any least restrictive means evaluated?
If Yes - Please describe below.
Describe least restrictive evaluation:
Your answer
2r. Did family member attempt to be appointed guardian before a professional guardian was appointed?
2s. Did ward retain their right to vote?
2t. Was DHS or Adult Protection involved with ward before guardianship process?
If Yes - Please describe involvement.
Describe DHS/Adult Protection involvement:
Your answer
2u. Was there any involvement from other agencies ( VOA, LSS, AARP)?
If Yes - Please describe below.
Describe involvement from agencies:
Your answer
2v. Do you suspect any conflict-of-interest between the ward's attorney, court officials or guardian/conservator?
If yes - Please describe below.
Describe conflict-of-interest:
Your answer
2w. Do you feel that there was any misconduct or bias by judicial staff:
If Yes - Please describe:
Describe judicial misconduct:
Your answer
2x. Please provide any other comments about the probate hearing:
Your answer
Section 3: Protected Person Attorney Information
3a. Did ward have own attorney or was court appointed attorney used?
3b. Name of ward's attorney:
Your answer
3c. Was ward denied a private attorney of their choice?
3d. Did the ward's attorney properly represent the ward?
If No - Please describe how not.
Describe attorney's actions:
Your answer
3e. Did ward request anyone else be present when meeting with attorney?
If Yes - Please list who the ward requested.
List who the ward requested to meet with attorney:
Your answer
3f. Was ward allowed to have anyone else with them?
3g. Please provide any other comments about the protected person's attorney:
Your answer
Section 4: Your Involvement In Guardianship/Conservatorship
We would like to know about your personal involvement with the ward.
4a. Your relationship to the ward:
If half-sibling, step-child, cousin or other type of relative, please provide additional details.
Details on relationship:
Your answer
4b. Did you try unsuccessfully to get help for ward before guardianship/conservatorship?
If Yes - Identify agencies/organizations below and describe if possible.
Agencies contacted for help before guardianship:
Describe assistance sought before guardianship/conservatorship:
Your answer
4c. Did any agencies attempt to help and if so how?
If Yes - Identify agencies/organizations below and describe if possible.
Attempts to help ward:
Your answer
4d. Did you attend or play a role in the guardianship hearing?
4e. Did you hire legal counsel to represent you?
If Yes - Please list your attorney. If multiple attorney's were involved, please describe.
Attorney Name:
Your answer
4f. Were you satisfied with your attorney's performance?
If No - Please describe how you were unsatisfied.
Describe attorney's performance:
Your answer
4g. Did you incur legal expenses or other financial loss as a result of the guardianship/conservatorship?
If Yes - Please enter estimated amount of loss and describe type of loss such as attorney fees, travel expenses, lost work, ruined career or business, etc.
Amount of loss:
Describe your financial loss:
Your answer
4h. Did you contest the guardianship/conservatorship?
4i. Were you ever accused of unduly influencing the ward?
4j. Have you been ordered to not discuss the guardianship/conservatorship with the ward or others by either the guardian or court officials?
If Yes - Please describe circumstances below.
Describe circumstances behind order:
Your answer
4k. Were you penalized for questioning guardian's or conservator's actions?
If Yes - Please provide additional details.
Describe how you were penalized:
Your answer
4l. Did you try unsuccessfully to get help for ward after guardianship/conservatorship?
If Yes - Identify agencies/organizations below and describe if possible.
Agencies contacted for help after guardianship:
Describe assistance sought after guardianship/conservatorship:
Your answer
4m. Did any agencies attempt to help and if so how?
If Yes - Identify agencies/organizations below and describe if possible.
Agencies attempted to help ward:
Your answer
4n. Have you experienced personal trauma as a result of this guardianship?
If you have experienced trauma, please provide additional details:
Details of personal trauma due to guardianship/conservatorship.
Your answer
4p. Have you sought therapy or mental health counseling as a result?
4q. Please provide any other comments about your involvement with ward:
Your answer
Section 5: Guardian/Conservator Information
5a. Who was assigned as guardian?
Name of guardian:
Your answer
5b. Who selected/recommended this guardian?
5c. Has the guardian issued timely and accurate well-being reports to the court and all parties?
If Not - Please describe delays or inaccuracies of reports.
Well-being report issues:
Your answer
5d. Who was assigned as conservator?
Name of conservator:
Your answer
5e. Who selected/recommended this Conservator?
5f. Has conservator issued timely and proper financial reports to the court and all parties?
If Not - Please describe delays or inaccuracies of reports.
Financial report issues:
Your answer
5g. Has there been any litigation in probate court after guardianship/ conservatorship enacted?
5h. If litigation occurred, do you feel that the outcome was fair or had otherwise positive results?
5i. Has there been any change of guardian or conservator for the ward?
If Yes - Please describe.
Change in guardian or conservator:
Your answer
5j. Please provide any other comments about wards guardian/conservator:
Your answer
Section 6: Protected Person’s Care and Life
6a. Has guardian honored the wishes of the ward?
If No - Please describe below.
Describe how wishes were disregarded:
Your answer
6b. Was ward moved to a care facility by the guardian?
6c. Was the move against the wishes of the ward?
6d. Describe type of facility:
6e. Was the reason given to place the ward valid?
Please provide additional details if reason for placement not justified or due to fabricated scenario.
Details on unjustified reasons for placement:
Your answer
6f. How long after the guardian was appointed was the ward placed in a facility?
6g. How did the ward feel about the facility after being moved there?
6h. Has the ward received proper medical care?
6i. Has the ward been isolated from specific medical professionals?
Select all that apply:
Describe or list other medical care not provided:
Your answer
6j. Did the ward deteriorate under guardianship?
Select all that apply:
Describe any additional decline of ward:
Your answer
6k. Did the guardian cancel or otherwise mismanage medical or dental insurance for the ward?
If Yes - Please describe how.
Describe how insurance was mismanaged:
Your answer
6l. Has the ward been isolated from any family members or others without due cause?
If Yes - Please indicate how isolated.
Methods of Isolation:
6m. Has the guardian failed to protect the ward from any family or friends with a history of abusive behavior?
Please describe circumstances if possible.
Describe circumstances behind abuse:
Your answer
6n. Have there been any any problems with staff or the facility management where the ward lives?
Please include details or describe other issues with staff or the facility:
Your answer
6o. Has the guardian properly addressed issues with facility or staff?
If No - Please describe.
Facility issues not addressed:
Your answer
6p. Have there been any problems with other people?
Please include details of problems:
Your answer
6q. Has the guardian properly addressed issues?
If No - Please describe.
People issues not addressed:
Your answer
6r. Is the ward still alive?
6s. If no longer alive, what year did the ward die?
6t. If no longer alive, did guardianship play a roll in an early death?
If Yes - Please identify how.
Guardianship's roll in an early death:
Your answer
6u. Was ward placed under hospice by guardian?
6v. Was ward terminally ill when ward entered hospice?
6w. Did hospice inappropriately speed wards death?
6x. Please provide any other comments about wards care and life:
Your answer
Section 7: Protected Person’s Estate
7a. What was the estimated value of the ward's estate when the guardianship/conservatorship was put in place.
7b. Were all the ward's assets included in the guardian's initial inventory?
If No - Describe assets omitted.
Assets omitted from inventory:
Your answer
7c. How much did probate court costs and legal fees cost the wards estate?
7d. How much has guardian/conservator fees cost the wards estate?
7e. Have the guardian/conservator fees been appropriate for the work performed?
7f. Did the guardian/conservator use ward's assets to pay for unnecessary expenses or services?
If Yes - Please describe the type of expenses and how much was spent.
Describe unnecessary expenses:
Your answer
7g. Did the ward have a home that was sold by the guardian/conservator?
If yes, please estimate the property value of the home.
Estimated value of home:
7h. Was the home sold for significantly less than fair market value?
If yes, please estimate amount under value.
Estimate amount of property value loss:
This would be the amount lost by the wards estate due to an undervalued sale.