A new law regarding guardianships goes into effect in Michigan. The law, effective on March 19, 2020, provides for the appointment of a limited guardian, whose task would be to supervise access to the incapacitated individual. Under ideal circumstances, the guardian for an incapacitated individual will provide for appropriate visitation between the ward and family members or other individuals who may wish to see the incapacitated individual. Because of various factors, including at times, family dynamics, a guardian may deny family members the ability to see their loved ones. While in the past, probate courts have managed these issues on a case by case basis using existing laws, this new law gives the Court another means by which to protect incapacitated individuals.
For the Court to name a limited guardian to supervise access to the protected individual, it must find by clear and convincing evidence:
- that a person is incapacitated;
- that the person who has care and custody of that incapacitated person has denied other individuals access to the incapacitated individual;
- that the incapacitated person wants to see those individuals denied access;
- that visits between the incapacitated individual and the individual denied access are in the best interest of the incapacitated individual.
It is always best if parties can work together for the best interest of the incapacitated individual but when that is not working, the law provides one more avenue by which Courts can protect the most vulnerable adults among us.