Guardianships can be complex and involve many moving parts and the proceedings can get lengthy. With the help of a qualified attorney, you can better understand all that pertains to guardianships, and have legal representation and support in any required court proceedings.

Categories of Guardianship

The State Bar of Michigan recognizes two main categories of guardianship:

  • Guardianship Over Minors 

laws as outlined by the The Michigan Legislature, guiding legal guardianship over minors, that is, children under the age of 18 years.

  • Guardianship Over Adults 

laws as outlined by the The Michigan Legislature, guiding legal guardianship over adults and /or incapacitated persons.

Types of Guardianship

The state of Michigan recognizes several types of guardianship:

  1. Temporary Guardianship

A Michigan court may appoint guardianship for a limited time during the proceedings for permanent guardianship, or where it’s been shown that an appointed permanent guardian is not performing their duties. Any powers, responsibilities and legal rights are limited to what the appointing court allows and can only last up to 6 months.

  1. Full Guardianship

Full guardianship of a minor may be assigned by will, if the minor’s parent or their spouse was the minor’s guardian at the time of their death. The same can be granted through appointment by the courts. Such would be the case if the court has previously suspended or terminated parental rights among other circumstances.

  1. Limited Guardianship

Michigan laws allow a custodial parent to petition for a limited guardianship. In  this case, the parent (s) would need to consent to the appointment of a guardian, and the subsequent suspension of their parenting rights. The parent would then need to set before the court a placement plan for approval. This plan includes reasons why the parents are filing for the limited guardianship, how long it will last, any parenting time and who will financially support the minor during this time.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Legalese can be difficult to comprehend and there is a lot that goes into arranging guardianship and ensuring all is executed according to your plan. In addition to sharing information on these processes, a passionate lawyer can be an asset when handling guardianships for various reasons highlighted here:

  1. Assist in Appointment of a Guardian

A trusted Michigan lawyer can provide you insight on how to choose the best legal guardian. For minors in particular, some of the things to consider include the candidates’ personality, belief system, health, age and wellness, as well their family structure and parenting styles.  A caring lawyer can sit in with you and help you educate your chosen guardian, helping them to understand their rights, powers and responsibilities as a legally appointed guardian.

  1. Documenting Guardianship 

A reputable lawyer can help you document the appointment of a legal guardian. This may be through a stand-along guardianship or as part of your Last Will and Testament. If ever you change your mind, or circumstances change, your lawyer can update the guardianship accordingly.

  1. Determining Incapacity in Court

For adult guardianship, there is always the burden to prove incapacity. A lawyer can present the facts of the case and passionately argue in determining incapacity before a Michigan court.

  1. Client Representation in Guardianship Disputes

Disputes are not uncommon in the various guardianship types. Whether out of or in court, a lawyer representing you, guiding you, and fighting to defend your interests and rights can help ease your burden.

  1. Transfer of Guardianship Assets

A competent lawyer can help ensure the transfer of guardianship assets is fair and the process runs smoothly once the minor comes of age. This is crucial to protect their best interests.


Could you benefit from a lawyer when it comes to guardianship in Michigan? Most definitely! The many perspectives mentioned here are all reasons to consider a highly experienced attorney serving Metro Detroit to help guide you through it all. Reach out to Foley Law Offices for qualified counsel today.