Guardianship refers to an arrangement in which a probate court judge appoints someone to be in charge of your person, as distinguished from your property.

A guardianship proceeding is initiated when someone/anyone petitions the probate court and says that you are incapable of making and communicating informed decisions. If the judge determines that you are in need of a guardian, he or she will appoint a person who has priority under the Michigan statutes. Sometimes this is a family member and other times it may be a public administrator. Sometimes it is both, and there are co-guardians.

The person appointed as your guardian is responsible for your comfort, care and personal well-being. The person's powers are granted by the judge and by statutes. Typically, unless the court restricts the guardian's power, the guardian has power to decide if you should be in a nursing home or similar living arrangement other than your home. A guardian will also have power to make medical decisions on your behalf. Guardians are required to report to the court annually on your status.

If you wish to learn more about guardianship, or would like to learn how to minimize the likelihood of a guardianship proceeding, contact us for a free consultation (888-526-4489).