Yes. In fact, the great majority of guardianship and conservatorship petitions are filed by private individuals, without any involvement by the County Attorney’s Office. Private lawyers who practice in the areas of probate, elder law and estate planning often bring guardianship/conservatorship proceedings on behalf of their clients. Petitioners can and often do represent themselves, as well. Forms and instructions for filing a guardianship or conservatorship petition can be found on the Minnesota Courts Web site at www.courts.state.mn.us/forms.
Regardless of whether the petition is filed by the County Attorney’s Office, a private attorney or a pro se party, the county Social Services department becomes involved, since the court is required to appoint a court visitor, usually a county social worker, to visit the proposed ward/conservatee and file a report and recommendation with the court.