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Guardianship is best understood if a tragic event takes the life of a child’s parents. What is less understood, but may still have to be dealt with, is guardianship of a loved one who has become mentally incompetent, such as an aged parent or seriously injured war veteran. Family life counselors advise parents to legally designate who they would like to become guardians of any children if both parents’ lives were lost. If parents are judged to be incompetent or unsafe by the courts, guardianship is usually assigned by the courts.

The assignment of guardianship is a serious legal proceeding, as rights and the freedom to make one’s own decisions are taken away. The recipient of guardianship has to be a minor or judged legally incapacitated under Michigan law. Guardianship is generally permanent, but circumstances can change. Yearly review of guardianships by Michigan probate courts is required. If guardianship is a temporary need, a power of attorney may better meet any needs. It’s best to ask an experienced Family Law Attorney, such as Matthew R. Kacel, who will walk you through the intricacies of Michigan law and work with you to ensure optimal outcomes.

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