Emergency Guardianship in Michigan

In Michigan, when someone lacks the physical or mental capacity to make decisions, they may need a guardian. The guardianship process can take a few months, but urgent situations might require quicker action. Under Michigan law (MCL – Section 700.5312), an emergency guardian can be appointed if there is an immediate risk to a person’s health or well-being.

The court may also appoint an emergency guardian to protect an individual’s assets from theft, embezzlement, or loss. An experienced probate lawyer can help navigate this process swiftly to safeguard the rights of the incapacitated individual.

When is Emergency Guardianship Required?

Emergency guardianship in Michigan can be pivotal during unexpected situations. Here are some examples:

  1. Mental health crisis – If a family member becomes a danger to themselves or others due to mental health issues, they might be hospitalized and unable to manage their financial responsibilities or make informed health decisions. During such times, setting up emergency guardianship allows the guardian to handle financial obligations and ensure that the individual receives necessary medical care, addressing any legal issues that arise due to their health condition.
  2. Sudden Injury or Illness – If a person becomes incapacitated due to an illness or injury, like being in a coma, emergency guardianship allows for managing their healthcare and financial affairs, particularly when prior estate planning isn’t sufficiently comprehensive.
  3. Incarceration – When someone is incarcerated, an emergency guardian might be needed to handle their financial matters, ensuring bills and obligations are met.
  4. Financial exploitation – If a vulnerable individual, such as an elderly or mentally disabled person, is being exploited financially by others, establishing emergency guardianship can protect their assets and stop ongoing abuse.h an attorney to ensure assets are protected and proper healthcare is administered.
  5. Substance abuse – For those severely impaired by substance addiction, an emergency guardian can help manage their personal and financial affairs, a step often necessary when the full extent of the addiction becomes apparent following an incident.

How to Obtain Emergency Guardianship in Michigan

To obtain emergency guardianship in Michigan, start by consulting an experienced attorney to navigate the legal procedures. The process includes filing a petition with the court, followed by a hearing typically scheduled within three days.

If the court determines that emergency guardianship is necessary, a temporary guardian is appointed immediately to manage healthcare, finances, and living arrangements. This guardianship lasts for 90 days, after which the court reviews the arrangement to decide if it should be extended or made permanent.

Does Guardianship Override Power of Attorney in Michigan?

In Michigan, both Power of Attorney and Guardianship are legal tools used for managing someone’s affairs, but they differ in their application and control. A Power of Attorney is voluntarily granted by someone who is mentally capable to another person, allowing them to act on their behalf. Guardianship, however, is imposed by a court when an individual is deemed incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs.

Typically, guardianship provides broader powers and can override existing Power of Attorney arrangements. Given the complexities of these legal tools, it’s recommended to seek advice from an experienced attorney to navigate these matters effectively.

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