Filing Guardianship for People with Mental Illness and Seniors

A petition for guardianship may be filed by family members or another interested person.  The probate court makes all decisions about guardianship.  A petition, which can be obtained from the probate court, must be filled out, stating the reasons for the need for a guardian, as well as who wishes to be appointed guardian.


Once the court gets the petition, a guardian ad litem is usually appointed to review and make recommendations to the probate court about the need for guardianship and the individual who wishes to be guardian.  You also have the right to be represented by an attorney.  If you don’t have an attorney and can’t afford one, the court will provide one to you at no cost.  A hearing will be held typically within thirty days after the petition is filed.  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 the guardian.


If the petition suggests a partial guardian and the probate court finds that you are unable to make some decisions for yourself regarding your care and treatment, the court may appoint a limited guardian to make those decisions for you.  If the petition states that you can’t care for yourself at all and need help with all decisions, and the probate court agrees, the probate court may appoint a full guardian to make all such decisions for you.


If the probate 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: 1452

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