Minnesota, USA: Power of Attorney –Guardianship – Health Care Directive

In case of incapacity a Power of Attorney or Guardianship will need to be appointed. There is no system for family members to automatically assume that role.

A power of attorney is generally accepted in Minnesota as well as guardianship. Applicable law is Minnesota Statute 523.01 – 523.26 and 524.

For a power of attorney, which can be modified and limited prior to creating it, all that is required is the document be signed and notarized. For Guardianship, however, it requires a court order. A public agency is unable to create these without a court order.

An extra approval by a witness is not required, but often as a practical matter there is an extra line for a witness to sign the document.

A certificate of authorization may allow representation for:
• financial issues
• health care
• residence (detention)
• mail
• contacts

However health care issues have to be laid down in a separate document called Health Care directive.

The standard form in Minnesota allows all of these and more (there are spaces to put a X in).

For a power of attorney, the individual controls it. For a guardianship, the court will need to be involved and either rescind it or modify it. The County social services agency often gets involved regarding those forms of authorization.

With an appropriate translation as well as a copy of the applicable Hague convention a German certificate of authorization should be accepted in Minnesota.

The applicable law is Minnesota Statute 523.02 which says that:

“A written power of attorney is a validly executed power of attorney … if it is validly created pursuant to: (1) the law of Minnesota …; (2) the common law; or (3) the law of another state or country.”

Jason Kohlmeyer

Rosengren Kohlmeyer, Law Office Chtd.
Mankato, Minnesota