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PROBATE 43: Can a ward petition to terminate guardianship?

Estates and Protected Individuals Codes

The Estates and Protected Individuals Codes (EPIC) governs the laws concerning the affairs of protected individuals and legally incapacitated individuals. The court may appoint a guardian if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence both that the individual for whom a guardian is sought is an incapacitated individual and that the appointment is necessary as a means of providing continuing care and supervision of the incapacitated individual.

Incapacitated Individual

An incapacitated individual means an individual who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause, not including minority, to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions.

Petition to Terminate Guardianship

MCL 700.5310(2), provides that a ward may petition the probate court for an order terminating the guardianship. To safeguard the ward’s rights, on a petition to terminate a guardianship, the probate court must follow the same procedures that apply to a petition for the appointment of a guardian. When deciding a petition to terminate an adult guardianship, the trial court must find that the ward remains incapacitated, and that the appointment remains necessary as a means of providing continuing care and supervision for the ward. There is no requirement that a petition to terminate a guardianship be supported by medical testimony. However, the absence of such testimony may prove fatal to a ward’s petition for termination of a guardianship.

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