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Michigan Standby Guardianship Law

A parent who is chronically ill or near death can nominate a standby or limited guardian.  Upon petition of a minor’s parent or parents, the court may appoint a limited guardian for an unmarried minor.  The parents with custody of the minor have to consent to the appointment of a limited or standby guardian.  Such parents must voluntarily consent to the suspension of their parental rights.  The court has to approve a limited guardianship placement plan agreed to by both of the following parties:

  • The parents with custody of the minor or, in the case of only one parent having custody of the minor, the sole parent who has custody of the minor
  • The person or persons whom the court will appoint as the minor’s limited guardian

A minor’s parent or parents who wish to have the court appoint a limited guardian for that minor and the person or persons who desire to be appointed limited guardian for that minor must develop a limited guardianship placement plan, using a form prescribed by the State court administrator.  A limited guardianship placement plan form must include a notice that informs a parent who is a party to the plan that substantial failure to comply with the plan without good cause may result in the termination of the parent’s parental rights.  The proposed limited guardianship placement plan shall be attached to the petition requesting the court to appoint a limited guardian.  The limited guardianship placement plan shall include provisions concerning the reason the parent or parents are requesting the court to appoint a limited guardian for the minor, parenting time and contact with the minor by his or her parent or parents sufficient to maintain a parent and child relationship, the duration of the limited guardianship, financial support for the minor, and any other provisions that the parties agree to include in the plan.

A limited guardian appointed under this section has all of the powers and duties of a guardian except that a minor’s limited guardian shall not consent to marriage or adoption of the minor ward or to the release of the minor ward for adoption.  The voluntary suspension of parental rights does not prevent the parent or parents from filing a petition to terminate the limited guardianship at any time.

Inside Michigan Standby Guardianship Law