Trenton, MI asked in Estate Planning for Michigan

Q: My mom is in the early stages of dementia I believe that my brother has filed for guardianship over my mother’s estate

How do I find out if he has legal guardianship over my mom’s legal affairs?

Can me & my sister contest his guardianship if he is named as such

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2 Lawyer Answers
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: If a guardianship has been filed, it should have been filed in the county where your mother resides. As a child of your mother, you should've been served with papers giving you notice of any guardianship proceeding since you are an "interested person" in your mother's welfare.

You could call the probate court for the county where your mother resides, and ask if there is a guardianship case for your mother. If a guardianship has already been put in place for your mother with your brother serving as guardian, you could petition the court for a modification of the guardianship. You would need to allege and prove grounds showing the brother (a) did not have priority for appointment as guardian; (b) brother is not qualified to serve; or (c) guardianship is not in mother's best interest.

If a guardianship has not yet been put in place for your mother, then as discussed above, you as child and an interested person in your mother's welfare are supposed to be served with any papers regarding a guardianship proceeding. A hearing will be held before guardianship is ordered, so if you have objections to your brother serving as guardian you could file objections and appear at the hearing to tell the judge why you believe your brother shouldn't be appointed as guardian.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Mr Harris is correct, however many people use the terms 'guardianship' and 'power of attorney' interchangeably -- they ARE different things but can be used to accomplish many of the same tasks.

If your brother was named as agent under a PoA then there may not NEED to be a guardianship. There are pros and cons to both guardianship and PoA procedures so it is vitally important to get appropriate local legal representation to insure you know what is going on, and what is best for your family, and what to do if you feel something is not being done appropriately.

Seek local legal help!

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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