Information regarding guardianships
► NOTICE: THE PROBATE COURT DOES NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR ALLEGED INCAPACITATED INDIVIDUALS FOR SCHEDULED HEARINGS. THE PETITIONERS AND/OR GUARDIAN/CONSERVATOR MUST MAKE THOSE ARRANGEMENTS DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ORGANIZATIONS (SMART, MEDSTAR, ETC.)
A Guardian is a person who is given Probate Court authority to be responsible for the personal and physical well being of an adult who is called a Legally Incapacitated Individual (LII). The Guardian has the same powers and duties over that LII as parents have over their children. A prospective Guardian may be nominated by petition (filed with the Probate Court) or may be named in a will.
A Guardian is needed when the individual lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions about his or her personal well being because of impairment by reason of either:
- Mental illness
- Physical disability
- Mental deficiency
- Chronic use of drugs
- Physical illness
- Chronic intoxication
Persons that may petition the Court for a Guardianship include the alleged LII, or any person who is interested in the welfare of the alleged LII.
A guardianship for an alleged LII may be initiated in Macomb County Probate Court if the alleged LII resides or is present in Macomb County.
Probate Court filing information
- The Macomb County Probate Court : 40 North Main St. 5th Floor, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
- Petitions and other forms are available at the court website (probate court packets) or at the counter in the Probate Court.
- There is a $175 filing fee for guardianships.
- The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8am until 4:30pm.
- Petitions must be filed by 4pm for same-day processing.
After the petition for Guardianship is filed
- A hearing date will be set in approximately five weeks.
- The petitioner (the person who signs the petition) must serve a Notice of Hearing and a copy of the Petition on the alleged LII and all other interested person.
- The petitioner must file a Proof of Service of the Petition and Notice of Hearing with the Court prior to the hearing (preferably filed seven days before the hearing).
- The case may be dismissed and/or adjourned if the proper persons have not been served, or if the Proof of Service was not filed.
- A Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed to protect the interests of the alleged LII.
- The Court will appoint legal counsel if the Guardian Ad Litem determines it is in the best interest of the alleged LII or if the alleged LII wishes to contest the petition, limit the Guardian's powers, or object to a particular person being appointed Guardian.
- The Court will conduct a hearing to determine whether appointing a Guardian and or Limited Guardian is in the best interest of the individual. The petitioner must attend unless otherwise directed by the Court.
- The Court will appoint a Guardian and/or Limited Guardian only to the extent necessary, and only when satisfied that such an appointment will serve the best interest of the individual.
- The Guardian and/or Limited Guardian must file an Acceptance of Appointment or a bond, as required by the Court.
- The Guardian and/or Limited Guardian cannot act until the Court issues Letters of Authority and/or Letters of Guardianship.
If an emergency exists, the Court may appoint a Temporary Guardian at a hearing following shorter than normally required notice.
Guardian ad litem
- The guardian ad litem who is appointed for an individual has the following duties:
- Visit the individual at his or her residence.
- Explain the nature, purpose and legal effects of the proposed appointment.
- Explain the hearing procedure and the individual's rights, including the right to be present at the hearing, to contest the petition or object to a particular person.
- Inform the individual of the name of each person seeking appointment.
- Determine whether there are appropriate alternatives
- Confirm to the court that the Guardian Ad Litem had performed the required duties.
The following is the contact with the Court that a guardian will have after appointment:
- Must file a written report at least annually with the Court within 56 days after the anniversary of the Order Appointing Guardian.
- Must use the Annual Report of Guardian on Condition of Legally Incapacitated Individual form (PC634).
- Must serve the report on the LII and all other interested persons.
- Must cooperate with the reviews of the guardianship as required by law or court order (generally one year after appointment and every three years thereafter). A review may include an interview and/or home visit.
- May be suspended and/or removed for failure to file and/or serve the annual reports.
Duties of the guardian
- Consult with the LII prior to any major decision affecting the LII (whenever meaningful communication is possible).
- Provide for the LII's case, comfort, and maintenance, except that:
- The Guardian is not legally obligated to provide for the LII from the guardian's own money; and
- The Guardian is not liable to third persons by reason of the "parental" relationship for the LII''s acts.
- Arrange, when appropriate, for training and education.
- Care for the LII's clothing, furniture, vehicles, and other personal effects.
- Commence a protective proceeding, if necessary, to protect the LII's property.
- Give consent or approval necessary for the LII to receive medical or other professional care, counsel, treatment or service.
- Report at least annually on the condition of the LII
- Receive and expend
Termination of guardianship
- When the individual is no longer legally incapacitated or in need of protection.
- When the individual has moved to another state and this court is presented with proof of authority from that state, and a receipt of the individual's funds (if applicable) or
- Upon the individual's death.
- The following may petition for termination:
- Any interested person may petition including the LII.
- File one of the following, depending on the circumstance:
- Petition to Terminate or Modify a Guardianship (PC 675).
- The LII does not need to use a court form; a simple letter is sufficient.
- Proof of authority from another state; or
- Proof of death.
- A $20 fee to file a petition is required for everyone except the LII.
- A court hearing will be scheduled for all petitions.
Forms necessary for opening a guardianship file
- Instructions for Appointment of Guardianship
- PC666 - What You Need to Know Before Filing a Petition to Appoint a Guardian for Incapacitated Individual
- PC625 - Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Incapacitated Individual
- PC630 - Report of Physician or Mental Health Professional
- PC562 - Notice of Hearing
- PC626 - Notice of Rights to Alleged Incapacitated Individual
- PC564 - Proof of Service
- PC631 - Order Regarding Appointment of Guardian of Incapacitated Individual
- PC632 - Order Regarding Appointment of Temporary Guardian of Incapacitated Individual
- PC571 - Acceptance of Appointment
- PC1071 - Fiduciary Proof of Identity
- PC634 - Annual Report of Guardianship on Condition of Legally Incapacitated Individual
Filing a petition for guardianship/conservatorship of an adult
The following information is required when you file a Petition for Guardianship and or Conservatorship of an adult:
- A current/recent letter from the adult's doctor describing the person's medical condition;
- The names and addresses of all of the interested parties;
- A filing fee of $187. This fee includes the cost of one $12 Letter of Guardianship or Conservatorship;
- Additionally, once you have opened the file you must then serve copies of the Petition and Notice of Hearing on all of the interested parties, including the ward, fourteen (14) days before the date of hearing. Service on the ward must be in person, NOT by mail.
You must then file a Proof of Service confirming you have completed service.
Michigan has enacted certain legislation which will affect Guardianships and Conservatorships for adults.
A Guardian ad Litem must be appointed by the Court when a Petition for a Guardian and/or Conservator of an adult is filed. The Guardian ad Litem must personally visit the ward and will contact the petitioner or petitioner's attorney within a few days to arrange a visit. The fee for this service will usually fall in the range of $150 - $650, payable by the ward's estate (NOTE: For estates having liquid assets equal to or greater than $300,000 the fee will be either $650 or actual reasonable time and charges of the guardian ad litem payable by the estate. If actual time and charges are submitted, the fees shall be in line with the 2014 Michigan State Bar Survey of the Economics Practice of Law and are subject to review/approval by the court). PLEASE discuss the fees with the Guardian ad Litem at the time of initial phone contact.
In addition, each existing adult Guardianship must be reviewed within one (1) year and every three (3) years thereafter. The person appointed to conduct the review will contact the Guardian to arrange a personal visit with the ward. Again, the fee for this service will be paid by the ward's estate.