Taylor, MI asked in Probate for Michigan

Q: May a guardian use an assumed name on court documents?

I came across a document where the guardians last name had changed to the same as the ward and the case number was different. I searched for a name change for the guardian and couldn't find any name change. Is this legal? The guardian also had the ward to obtain a copy of his birth certificate for what purpose would a guardian need the wards birth certificate and is it suspicious she didn't apply for it herself?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Independently, each thing you mentioned probably doesn't amount to much; collectively, perhaps there's more. But if you are questioning the guardian's capacity to act for the ward's best interest, there's a high standard to meet with more specific factors.

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

A: If the case number is 'different' then you are looking at two different cases with similar names.

Are you SURE this is the same case? It seems rather unlikely in the abstract.

"John Smith" uncle of "Bill Smith" acting as a guardian is not uncommon.

The fact that "John Cramer" brother of a different "Bill Smith's" mother is also that second "Bill Smith's" guardian in a different case in the same county, for example, is not unheard of, and not at all suspicious.

If you believe some 'shady business' is going on, I'd strongly urge you to consult with a local probate attorney to review all the facts. It is hard to speculate in a forum like this what is really going on.

-- 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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