GUARDIANS AND CONSERVATORS
Care for the mentally challenged, physically disabled, or elderly, may involve serious legal issues. If an adult lacks sufficient understanding to make informed decisions because of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical disability, chronic intoxication, or chronic drug use, the court may appoint a guardian. A guardian has the power under the law to provide continuing care and supervision of the adult. This includes placement into a facility and making decisions regarding medication and medical care.
If an adult is unable to manage his or her property, business, or financial accounts because of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical disability, chronic drug use or intoxication, or confinement, the court can appoint a conservator. The court can also appoint a conservator if the adult’s property will be wasted or lost without proper management or if the adult needs assistance to obtain money for support, welfare, and care. Conservators, under the law, have broad power to take control of all assets of the individual and may be given the authority to manage and make all decisions regarding the assets the sale of property.
The circumstances that lead to a petition for a conservator or guardianship are very difficult for families. The granting of authority to a conservator or guardian can create serious disagreements and/or divisions among family members. The Michigan Probate Code has enacted a procedure to resolve these disagreements for the best interest of the individual who is in need of a guardian or conservator.
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