How guardianships work in Michigan

When you have a parent or other loved one who becomes incapacitated, you may consider stepping in as a matter of keeping this person safe and protected. If the person who becomes incapacitated does not have a power of attorney or a designation of a patient advocate in place, you may think about trying to establish a guardianship.  

A guardian oversees the needs of an incapacitated adult. Because guardianships take some rights away from individuals who lack capacity, you want to make sure the guardianship is necessary before moving forward with requesting one.  

How to appoint a guardian

If you want to establish a guardianship for a parent or someone else, you must file a petition stating as much. You should do so in the county where the incapacitated party lives. The probate court then schedules a hearing so that a judge may determine whether the petition for guardianship has merit.  

Who may hold the guardian role

Anyone who is competent and over the age of 18 may be fit to be a guardian. However, a judge may decide not to allow a particular individual to serve as a guardian if the judge finds this party unsuitable. If no suitable guardians exist, a judge may appoint a professional to assume the guardian role.  

A guardian may or may not receive compensation for his or her efforts. Whether a guardian receives payment, and how much, depends on the nature of services provided and how much time a guardian devotes to the role, among other variables.