Southeast Michigan Guardianship Attorney
If you’re concerned about the declining ability of an aging parent to look after his or her own interests due to illness or incapacity, Michigan guardianship lawyer Michael Muma can advise you about the procedures and evidence involved in the difficult guardianship process. It can be expensive and it’s usually intrusive. As a last resort for protecting the health or financial interests of persons who can no longer care for themselves, however, guardianship can represent an effective legal solution to a difficult family problem. Contact us in Plymouth for a free consultation and advice about your specific situation. Also contact bankruptcy specialists, if need any bankruptcy help.
In Michigan, guardianship refers to a court order for protecting the health and person of a vulnerable individual or minor, while conservatorship refers to the judicial protection of the property of an incapacitated person or minor. The case begins with a petition filed by the next of kin or someone who lives with the person for whom guardianship is sought. The court appoints a guardian ad litem to investigate the allegations of legal incompetence and the nature and extent of the need for the protection of a guardian or conservator. The guardian ad litem’s report and recommendation to the probate court is usually the main factor in the judge’s decision whether or not to appoint a guardian.
Less controversially, guardianship is also ordered upon the death of a minor child’s parents, and is often granted upon application when a developmentally disabled child becomes a legal adult. In cases where a minor child inherits property or is awarded personal injury damages in his or her own name, a conservatorship will be appropriate for the responsible management of the property or damages award.
Sound estate planning can often avoid the difficulties and expense involved in guardianship proceedings. A durable power of attorney can provide for the protection of a person’s financial interests in the event of incapacity, and can eliminate the need for a guardianship petition. Similarly, the parents of minor children can designate a guardian in their will in the event of both parents’ death, and a special needs trust can address the welfare of developmentally disabled children in adulthood.