Adult GuardianshipsThe following are instructions for initiating an adult guardianship:
NOTE: ALL FORMS MUST BE TYPEWRITTEN OR PRINTED NEATLY IN BLACK INK (NO MARKERS)
The Court is required to provide the person intending to file the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of an Incapacitated Individual with a list of alternatives to the appointment of a full guardian and an explanation of each alternative.
Please refer to form PC666 “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE FILING A PETITION TO APPOINT A GUARDIAN FOR AN INCAPACITATED ADULT.” Also you may want to refer to the ALTERNATIVES TO FULL GUARDIANSHIP FOR ADULTS pamphlet.
WHEN COMPLETING THE PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN OF INCAPACITATED INDIVIDUAL PLEASE REFER TO THE "INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN OF INCAPACITATED INDIVIDUAL".
PLEASE NOTE that guardianship does not cover the ability to handle an individual’s finances.
- Upon filing of the Petition, form PC625, along with the supporting statement from the treating physician, if available (strongly recommended), and payment of the $150 filing fee, the Court will schedule a hearing date and time. (Usually in 3 to 4 weeks) If you are indigent, you may request an Affidavit and Order Suspension of Fees/Costs, form MC20, from the Court; this form is used to request that the filing fee be waived. You must complete and attach form MC287 to the Affidavit.
If you are also filing a Petition for Appointment of a Conservator, the hearing can be a combined hearing on both petitions.
The proposed guardian must sign an Acceptance of Appointment, form PC571, agreeing to be appointed guardian for the adult.
- The court by law must appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the best interest of the alleged incapacitated individual. The Guardian Ad Litem will meet with the individual prior to the hearing. THE COURT MAY ORDER PAYMENT FOR THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM FROM THE INDIVIDUAL’S FUNDS OR THE PETITIONER'S FUNDS. If the person responsible for the payment of fees is indigent file an Affidavit of Indigence for Waiver of GAL or Attorney Fees.
- The petitioner is responsible for serving the following papers on the person who they are seeking a guardian for: ("Serving" means giving a copy to the person)
- Notice of Hearing
- Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem
- Notice to Alleged Incapacitated Individual
- The forms must be served on the person by hand delivery at least 7 days prior to the hearing. The Probate Court will provide the petitioner with this paperwork. The petitioner must then file a Proof of Service, form PC564, with the Court. THE HEARING CANNOT BE HELD IF THE PROOF OF SERVICE IS NOT FILED.
- The petitioner must appear at the hearing. The alleged legally incapacitated individual has a right to be present at the hearing, if they are able and wish to attend.
- If there is an objection to the request for guardian, it may be necessary to have the physician (and possibly other witnesses) appear to testify to support your request for the establishment of the guardianship.
If your petition is granted, you will be provided with a true copy of the Order Regarding Appointment of Guardian of Incapacitated Individual and a true copy of Letters of Guardianship. Letters of Guardianship are your proof that you are the legal court appointed guardian. If you want a certified copy of the Letters of Guardianship, the cost is $12.00 for each copy.
As a guardian, you must file a report every year. There is a special form for this called "ANNUAL REPORT OF CONDITION OF LEGALLY INCAPACITATED INDIVIDUAL", form PC634. Also, if the protected individual's address changes, you must notify the Court within 14 days of the change. If your address changes, you must notify the Court and any interested parties in writing within 7 days of the change.
As a service, the Grand Traverse County Probate Court may send reminder notices to the Conservator 14 days prior to the due date of the Annual Report. The notice states which document is due, the due date and the court address. The Guardian must complete, date and sign the proper form and file it with the probate court. The form and accompanying Proof of Service may be filed in person or mailed to the Probate Court office.
If the Grand Traverse County Probate Court does not receive the Annual Report within 56 days of the due date the Court will schedule a hearing for the Guardian to come to court and explain why the form was not timely filed.
TERMINATE OR MODIFY GUARDIANSHIP
If the protected individual or any interested person wishes to terminate or modify the guardianship a Petition to Terminate/ Modify, PC675, must be filed with the Court, along with a $20 filing fee.
Resources available at the Court office are the Handbook for Guardians of Legally Incapacitated Adults and a video on Guardianship and Conservatorship. Also, available online is the Guardianship Handbook.
The Court welcomes your questions, but Court Personnel are PROHIBITED BY LAW from giving legal advice. It may be wise to secure the services of an attorney to assist you with the complexity of the paperwork.
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