Minnesota Guardianship Law | Do I need to have a guardianship?

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on December 10, 2012

Minnesota guardianship lawFrom time to time I get questions from prospective or current client about whether they need to apply for a Minnesota guardianship over minor children or, at times, adults.

For instance, below is a question that I recently answered regarding the necessity of applying for a Minnesota guardianship:

I have two nieces that want to live with me. They are of 15 and 16. They will be attending their current school. What do I need if matters of paperwork/permission slips come up from school. My brother and wife are close by but are going through marital issues. The children requested to distance themselves from that environment.

Minnesota Guardianship law answer:

A temporary guardianship is probably the best place to start. You don’t have to have one and the nieces can continue to live with you. However, it will be very difficult for you to make financial and other decisions for them while they live with you. Issues such school forms, drivers licenses, and other things come to mind.

If you ask for a temporary guardianship, the court is going to require the parents’ consent.  If you don’t want to go the guardianship route, you might try a power-of-attorney, but I don’t think that will get you where you want to be.

When I read the above answer again, I realized that I probably should have also added some advise about Minnesota Statute 524.5-211.

Minn. Stat. 524.5-211 Delegation of Power by Parent or Guardian

Under Minn. Stat. 524.5-221:

(a) A parent, legal custodian, or guardian of a minor or incapacitated person, by a properly executed power of attorney, may delegate to another person, for a period not exceeding one year, any powers regarding care, custody, or property of the minor or ward, except the power to consent to marriage or adoption of a minor ward.

(b) A parent who executes a delegation of powers under this section must mail or give a copy of the document to any other parent within 30 days of its execution unless:

(1) the other parent does not have parenting time or has supervised parenting time; or

(2) there is an existing order for protection under chapter 518B or a similar law of another state in effect against the other parent to protect the parent, legal custodian, or guardian executing the delegation of powers or the child.

(c) A parent, legal custodian, or guardian of a minor child may also delegate those powers by designating a standby or temporary custodian under chapter 257B.

As the language of the statute shows, this form can be very useful for people who do not wish to proceed to a Minnesota guardianship – whether temporary or permanent.

This power of attorney will not be the answer for every person who has questions about whether a Minnesota guardianship is required.  However, in my mind, the form does provide a benefit.

Much like a delegation of power via standard power of attorney, the Minnesota Delegation of Power by a Parent or Guardian form can save time and expense.  For instance, in Dakota County Minnesota, the court filing fee for a guardianship petitioner is $320.00.  There are also additional attorney’s fee and other costs associated filing filing a petition for a temporary or permanent guardianship.

As I stated above, a temporary or permanent guardianship may be the right answer in many situations.  However the Delegation of Power by a Parent or Guardian form should not be ignored.


Flanders Law Firm, LLC is a Minnesota law firm focusing on guardianships, probate, estate planning, and family law.  The client-focused practice brings years of experience and high-quality legal representation to Minnesota families and businesses.  Find out more about Flanders Law Firm, LLC at www.flanderslawfirm.com.

Related posts:


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

williemae sawyer July 18, 2016 at 5:33 am

My little sister is coming to live with me starting August 2016. My father is medically unable to care for her, she’s 4yrs old. He lives in Atlanta and I live in Minnesota. Do I have to file guardianship paperwork or can I get a Power of attorney?


Flanders Law Firm LLC July 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm

You can use the Delegation of Parental Rights form for most things. However, if she is going to live with you permanently, it would probably be better to have guardianship of her.


barb July 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Hello – re the guardianship / Delegation of Parental Rights of a minor coming to MN from another state – what state do we file this in? he has been living in MN since June 2016. Thank you.


fannita jones July 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm

I’m trying to figure out how to start filing for temporary custody or guardianship for my grandson. He has been living with me back and forth for the past 5years. His mother drinks heavily, and has even again left him here in mn. With first tbe girlfriend of tbe father who’s in prison, now he is with me and tbe auntie until we figure out stability for him. He doesn’t want to go live with his mom in kentucky who lives with her “boyfriend, mom, and siblings “. Where my grandson doesn’t and has never had stability unless with me or my mom which his mom thinks its ok to drag him all aroun4g every 6months to 1 year to a different place. Never had her own or trying to. I feel for his safety mentally, physically and emotionally. He needs stability and I’m willing to take that extra step to make that happen. What do I need to do.


mom derk August 4, 2016 at 2:50 pm

My power of parent expired for both girls living with me but we are going through adoption proceedings for them but I need to get them in school and dental work. Help. they are icwa too..THanks!


Scott October 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

My stepson is living with my wife’s cousins do to her medical sickness in us becoming homeless me and my two-year-old daughter are living with my parents when my wife went in to get help her cousins decided to change all agreement agreement they made they decided that I could not have any type of visitation because they were afraid I was going to kidnap him my wife and her cousins Maine update visiting agreement without discussing it with me my daughter could visit her brother as long as she goes over to their house and I do not bring her me and my parents do not have any visitation rights because they are dictating who my 7 year old step-son can see my wife will not step up and tell them that they can’t do it it has gotten to the point where I am filing for divorce


Bonnie Dupre November 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm

I have a granddaughter who will be 17 this November. She has been in an out of teen facilities, foster homes, and recently JDC. Her mother has custody of my granddaughter though mother is disabled. Mom and granddaughter do not get along and now that granddaughter is soon to be an adult mom is trying to get Legal guardianship of granddaughter. Granddaughter does not want that. If the court decides if my Granddaughter does require guardianship can she choose her guardianship.She would like me (grandma) and grandpa.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: