The Michigan Probate Code offers you a way to help and protect your loved ones when the unthinkable happens. Your parents may have age-related cognitive decline, or your adult child may have been seriously injured in an accident. Guardianship offers a way to assume authority for a person, and conservatorship offers you a way to handle their finances while they are unable to do so.
A person must be “legally incapacitated” in order for a guardian to be appointed. A court will look carefully at the entire situation, including a person’s medical records, to see whether they are unable to care for themselves. A person who is subject to a petition for guardianship is entitled to an attorney, as well as a “guardian ad litem.” This is a person, usually a lawyer, who investigates the situation and reports to the court about whether a guardianship or another kind of protection would be appropriate.
A person can agree or disagree with the request. If they disagree, the court will have a trial, and the person seeking a guardianship must demonstrate legal incapacitation. Even if both people agree that a guardianship or conservatorship might be necessary, an attorney can ease the process so that you can focus on caring for yourself or your loved one.