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  • Writer's pictureAlex Daar

I think my adult child is mentally ill. Can I get a guardianship to get them back on track?

Michigan in particular has struggled through a shortage of mental health personnel and inpatient facility availability to address the growing need for mental health treatment, especially among young people. Add a pandemic to the equation and the problematic mental health climate in Michigan is now marked by an increased demand for treatment and fewer resources to find help.

This crisis has rightly been dubbed a “a tidal wave of sadness.” With so few private and public resources available, guardianships are more popular than ever. Securing a guardianship will involve going to the probate court, so the first thing you should consider before filing for guardianship is whether there are possible alternatives to going to court. You should consult with an attorney regarding alternatives to guardianship such as durable powers of attorney for health care and finances.

A prospective guardian must also consider whether the person they want to help meets the legal standard for a “legally incapacitated individual.” The person in need must present more serious issues than generalized poor-decision making. A prospective incapacitated individual must exhibit an inability to make their own decisions. Legally speaking, guardianships are reserved for individuals who are impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication.

It can be difficult to know whether a guardianship is necessary, let alone how to navigate the probate court procedures to obtain a guardianship. Schedule a consultation with me so we can determine the best game plan to get help for those you love.

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