Michigan guardianship law has been amended to allow probate courts to appoint limited guardians to supervise visitations with incapacitated adults. Specifically, a new section MCL 700.5306(6) provides grounds for a limited guardian to be appointed for the sole purpose of supervising access with a ward.
The elements of this new cause of action are:
- A person is incapacitated;
- Another person has “care and custody” of them;
- The person with care and custody has denied someone else access to the incapacitated person.
- The incapacitated individual desires contact with the person who is being denied access; and
- Visits between the incapacitated person and the person who has been denied access are in the best interests of the incapacitated person.
All of these must be established by clear and convincing evidence.
The new law takes effect March 19, 2020. To read the law as amended, click here.
While I think all probate practitioners would agree that isolation of vulnerable adults is a serious concern, many would (and did) argue that this problem is already being dealt with by probate courts using their existing powers. See for instance: In Re Guardianship of Dorothy Redd.