Guardianships Blog
Battle Creek - Guardianship Law Blog

Guardian and Disabled Client:

Posted: December 1, 2018

If a guardian has been appointed for a disabled person and no conservator is appointed, such a guardian may perform some limited acts normally done by a conservator without the necessity of having a conservator appointed. The guardian may institute proceedings to compel a person under a duty to support the disabled person or to pay sums for the welfare of the disabled person to perform that duty. The guardian may also receive money and tangible property deliverable to the disabled person and apply the money and property for support, care, and education of the ward.

Section 5103 of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC)

Types of Guardianships and Conservatorships:

Posted: November 23, 2018

  • Guardian of a Minor - This guardian has the care and control of the minor much as a parent would have.
  • Limited Guardian of Minor - This guardian has the care and control of the minor. However, this guardianship differs from a regular guardianship in that the guardian cannot consent to the marriage of the minor, the adoption of the minor or the release of the minor for adoption.
  • Full Guardian of a Legally Incapacitated Individual - This guardian has the care and control of the adult much as a parent would have over their child.
  • Limited Guardian of a Legally Incapacitated Individual - A guardian of an adult who possesses fewer than all of the legal rights and powers of a full guardian and whose rights, powers, and duties have been specifically enumerated by court order.
  • Guardian Ad Litem -- This is not a guardian in the usual sense. A guardian ad litem is appointed to represent the interest of a party in a proceeding before the court where that party is unable to adequately represent them self. The guardian ad litem may make a recommendation to the court based upon what they believe to be in the best interest of the party they represent. They have no authority to make decisions for the party they represent and should not be confused with a guardian.
  • Guardian of the Person - This is the guardian of a developmentally disabled person. Such guardians are appointed under provisions of the Mental Health Code rather than the Probate Code. This guardian has the care and control of the developmentally disabled person (formerly referred to as a mentally retarded adult) much as a parent would have over their child.


What is a Guardian

Posted October 2, 2018

A full guardian has the same powers and responsibilities to a minor child as does a custodial parent, except that a guardian is not obligated to support the minor with personal funds and is not liable to third parties for the minor’s acts. A limited guardian has all the powers and duties of a full guardian enumerated in MCL 700.5215 except that a limited guardian may not consent to the minor’s adoption, the minor’s release for adoption, or the marriage of a minor. MCL 700.5206(4).

A guardian must take reasonable care of the minor’s personal effects and start protective proceedings if necessary to protect the minor’s property. The guardian may not sell the minor’s interest in real property without court authorization. Any money received for the minor’s support must be spent on the minor’s current needs for support, care and education. The money is not to be used to reimburse the guardian for services rendered unless approved by court order or as determined by a duly appointed conservator other than the guardian. The guardian is to assist with the minor’s education and social activities and authorize medical or other professional care. A full guardian may give consent to the minor’s; marriage, adoption or release for adoption. The guardian must file timely reports with the court. These reports must detail the minor’s condition, including any medical treatment given to the minor; the assets in the guardian’s control; and reasons for continuing the guardianship. The guardian must serve the report on the interested persons.

The probate court has exclusive legal and equitable jurisdiction over guardianships, conservatorships, and protective proceedings, except to the extent the Revised Judicature Act confers jurisdiction on the family division of circuit court. MCL 600.841, 700.1302(c). The family division of circuit court has ancillary jurisdiction over cases involving guardians and conservators that are commenced on or after January 1, 1998. MCL 600.1021(2)(a). However, the ability of a court to exercise ancillary jurisdiction is extremely proscribed under Michigan law and can be done only under extraordinary circumstances.