Filing for Guardianship

A petition for guardianship may be filed by your parents or another interested person.  The probate court makes all decisions about guardianship.  A petition package, which can be obtained from the probate court, must be filled out.  The petition package consists of a form which must be accompanied by various evaluations.  The court usually looks at evaluations from a psychologist or psychiatrist, and a doctor.  You can have these performed by your own doctor or psychiatrist.  Various public agencies, such as a school district or a county community mental health agency can also provide these evaluations for you.


The petition will also indicate who is nominated to become the guardian, and who is nominated to become the standby guardian.


Once the probate court gets the completed package, an attorney is usually appointed.  You have the right however, to choose your own attorney.  If you can’t afford to pay for your own attorney, the probate court will pay for one.  If you don’t have an attorney, the court will provide one to you at no cost.  A hearing will be held within thirty days after you and your attorney file the petition package.  You also have the right to have a jury decide anything you disagree with, such as the need for guardianship or who is to become your guardian.


If the court finds that you are unable to make some decisions for yourself such as care and treatment, how to handle your money or your property, the court may appoint a partial guardian to make those decisions for you.  If the court finds that you can’t care for yourself at all and need help with all decisions, the court may appoint a plenary or full guardian to make all such decisions for you.


If the court decides that you need a guardian, partial guardianship is always the preferred form so that you keep some rights to make decisions for yourself if you are able.



Phone code: 1409

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