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Minnesota Legislature

Adult guardianship jurisdiction (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Mike Cook
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Minnesota will have procedures and standards for recognizing and interacting with guardianship and protective order proceedings and appointments from outside of the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Gail Kulick Jackson (DFL-Milaca) and Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul), the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act will establish uniform jurisdiction on determining a primary residence or other state of substantive contact, how to transfer and register guardianships between states so procedures are not repeated in each state. It does not change anything regarding minor guardianship.

Because today’s elderly are very mobile and often live in other states for periods of time, it can be problematic between states as to where an appropriate venue is for guardianship, conservatorship or other adult protective actions, Jackson said.

For example, if a husband and wife live in Florida six months a year, and the wife becomes incapacitated, the husband may become her legal guardian or conservator in Florida. However, Jackson said, if something were to happen to the husband and their child wants to move them here, Minnesota would not recognize the guardianship. The law hopes to reduce the number of times a person has to go through the guardianship or conservatorship process.

In early May, Jackson estimated 13 other states had a similar law.

As more states adopt this, she said there will be a larger group that has uniformity, meaning easier transfers of registration of guardianship, conservatorship or protective provision.

A court may treat a foreign country as if it were a state for applying provisions of the law, if the country matches the requirements of our jurisdiction regarding a protective order, guardianship or conservatorship.

Most of the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2010, and will apply to guardianship and protective proceedings begun on or after that date.

HF632/SF412*/CH46

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