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What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a court order that allows one person to make decisions for another person. There are two types of adult guardianships in Michigan. The first is for persons described as “legally incapacitated individuals” and the other is specifically for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. (Michigan law also provides for a “conservatorship” which is like a guardianship except it only gives a person control over another person’s property, assets, and money.)
You have rights if someone asks the court to appoint a guardian. If you are under a guardianship, you also have rights to ask that the guardianship be changed or terminated.
Most people with a disability are able to take care of their own lives without a guardian. Because guardianship deprives people of their rights, it should be used only rarely. Disability Rights Michigan recommends use of alternatives to guardianship, described below.