In a perfect world, all of our clients would have an established estate plan when they come to see us, which would allow a designated individual to act under a power of attorney for all their needs. However, for a number of reasons not everyone has an estate plan or has the mental capacity to establish an estate plan. In these circumstances, the individual would instead benefit from the assistance of a court–appointed guardian or conservator. Our skilled attorneys can assist you in the process of setting up a guardianship or conservatorship and filing all the necessary court paperwork. This process can be done both for adults in need of assistance and minor children.
In Michigan, there are two established methods of managing the affairs of another individual through the probate court, beyond that of the trustee. The first of the two methods is guardianship of the person, which is a traditional guardianship in which day–to–day decisions, particularly involving medical care and personal care, are managed by the guardian. The second is a conservatorship, which involves the management of the estate/property of the individual. Courts sometimes appoint the same individual to fill both roles or separate individuals. The courts typically prefer to appoint family members before appointing an unrelated individual or professional guardian, however, such appointments are made if the relatives of the individual are not appropriate to serve as guardian and/or conservator.