Guardianship is a legal tool available in some situations to allow for the protection and well-being of another person. A guardian would act in the best interests of a person who is either too young or incapable of making important decisions independently. Either a court can appoint a guardian or estate planning documents, particularly a will, can name a person to be a guardian.

This is a common way for Michigan parents to plan for the care and protection of their children in case they pass away unexpectedly. However, it may be appropriate to seek guardianship or work to appoint a specific person as guardian as a loved one in other situations. A guardian will have certain responsibilities and rights.

What does a guardian do?

A guardian will have the right to make certain decisions on behalf of another person. These are often important and crucial decisions, and it is beneficial for a person to take their role seriously. Some of the decisions a person may have to make as guardian could pertain to the following:

  • Making educational plans
  • Making health care plans and making decisions regarding medical care
  • Purchasing important things for everyday life, such as food, clothing and more
  • Managing money and financial accounts

These are just a few of the things that guardians may have to do. The specific role a guardian may have depends on the individual situation, such as the age of the ward, his or her capabilities and more. 

In many cases, a person who would benefit from having the protection and guidance of a guardian would be a minor with no parents or a person is mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. It is possible to remove a guardianship after a certain amount of time or after a significant change in circumstances.

Protecting your interests and those of your loved ones

If you learn you were named guardian of someone, you want to seek guardianship of a loved one or you want to outline plans for your own children, you may find it beneficial to seek qualified help. Guardianship can be complex, but with guidance, you can understand your rights, options and potential role.

A complete evaluation of your case will help you understand more about guardianship and know what it can mean for you and your family. As with all estate planning decisions and concerns, you would be wise to have experienced guidance as you make important decisions that could impact your family’s future.