There are three types of guardianships granted and overseen by the Probate Court; guardianships for legally incapacitated adults, guardianships for minors, and guardianships for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Guardianships of a Legally Incapacitated Adult: are used when an individual is impaired by mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness, disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication or other cause so that they lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions and need someone to make such decisions for them.

Guardianships of a Minor Child: are used to provide legal authority to take care of minor children for temporary or long term due to the parent or parents of the minor being unwilling or unable to safely and adequately care for their child. While a minor guardianship is in place the guardian, and not the parent, has the right and responsibility to make decisions about and care for the minor child.

Limited Guardianships of a Minor Child

Full Guardianships of a Minor Child

Guardianships of a Developmentally Disabled Individual: are used under the Mental Health Code, "developmental disability" means, for a person more than five years old, a severe, chronic condition

  • that is attributable to mental or physical impairments or a combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • that manifested before the person is 22;
  • that is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • that results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and
  • that reflects the individual's need for long-term special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services.

MCL 330.110a(21)(a). From birth to age five, developmental disability means a substantial developmental delay or a specific congenital or acquired condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental disability as defined above.

A guardianship for a developmentally disabled person should be undertaken only to promote and protect the wellbeing of the individual and encourage the development of maximum self-reliance for the individual. The guardianship should be limited by the Court based on the developmentally disabled individual's actual mental and adaptive limitations.

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This page last updated on 9/17/2021.