What is a Guardianship and When Do You Need One?

What is a Guardianship an…

If a loved one becomes unable to care for himself or herself or make necessary decisions, a guardianship is a legal option that you will want to explore. In a Michigan guardianship proceeding, a probate judge appoints an individual to make decisions for a legally incapacitated person. The person whom the court appoints as guardian has full legal responsibility for the incapacitated person, and must make necessary decisions about the person’s living arrangements and medical care. A guardian, however, is not in charge of the incapacitated person’s financial affairs, particularly if he or she owns substantial assets. Rather, a separate legal proceeding called a conservatorship designate a person to handle an incapacitated individual’s financial affairs if he or she is legally incapable of handling those affairs on his or her own.

If you file a guardianship petition for a loved one, you must give notice of the proceeding to all interested parties, including the person’s spouse, children or parents, anyone who provides care for the person, anyone named as power of attorney or patient advocate for the person, and the person for whom guardianship is sought. The probate court will appoint a guardian ad litem, whose responsibility is to investigate the situation and make a recommendation to the court about whether a guardianship petition should be granted. The allegedly incapacitated person can hire his or her own attorney, or the court will appoint an attorney for the person. The court also may appoint a medical or mental health professional to examine the person and make a recommendation to the court about whether the person is legally incapacitated.

When a loved one becomes incapacitated, guardianship is one of the different options that may allow you to handle his or her affairs. The Ann Arbor estate lawyers of Legacy Law Center have the experience that you need. We are your trusted advisors who are skilled in looking at all facets of your life, evaluating your needs, and working collaboratively with you and your family to create the estate plan that you want and need. Contact Legacy Law Center today and learn how we can help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

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