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Probate Court

Types of Guardianship and Conservatorship

  • Guardian of a Minor - This guardian has the care and control of the minor much as a parent would have.
  • Limited Guardian of Minor - This guardian has the care and control of the minor. However, this guardianship differs from a regular guardianship in that the guardian can not consent to the marriage of the minor, the adoption of the minor or the release of the minor for adoption.
  • Full Guardian of a Legally Incapacitated Individual - This guardian has the care and control of the adult much as a parent would have over their child.
  • Limited Guardian of a Legally Incapacitated Individual - A guardian of an adult who possesses fewer than all of the legal rights and powers of a full guardian and whose rights, powers, and duties have been specifically enumerated by court order.
  • Guardian Ad Litem -- This is not a guardian in the usual sense. A guardian ad litem is appointed to represent the interest of a party in a proceeding before the court where that party is unable to adequately represent them self. The guardian ad litem may make a recommendation to the court based upon what they believe to be in the best interest of the party they represent. They have no authority to make decisions for the party they represent and should not be confused with a guardian.
  • Guardian of the Person - This is the guardian of a developmentally disabled person. Such guardians are appointed under provisions of the Mental Health Code rather than the Probate Code. This guardian has the care and control of the developmentally disabled person (formerly referred to as a mentally retarded adult) much as a parent would have over their child.
  • Guardian of the Estate -- This guardian has the same duties and responsibilities as a conservator except the ward is a developmentally disabled person. This guardian is appointed under the Mental Health Code rather than the Probate Code.
  • Plenary Guardian - This is a guardian of a developmentally disabled person who possesses the legal rights and powers of a full guardian of the person, or of the estate, or both.
  • Partial Guardian - This is a guardian of a developmentally disabled person who possesses fewer than all the legal rights and powers of a plenary guardian, and whose rights, powers, and duties have been specifically enumerated by court order.
  • Temporary Guardian - This guardian is appointed for a temporary period of time pending a full guardianship hearing or when the appointed guardian is not performing his or her duties. A temporary guardian can only do those things which are specifically authorized by the appointing court.
  • Conservator of a Minor - This conservator has the authority and responsibility to manage the minor's finances.
  • Conservator of a Protected Individual - This conservator has the authority and responsibility to manage the adult's finances.
  • Special Conservator - This fiduciary is appointed to carry out the terms of a preliminary protective order. They may only do what is specified in the protective order. This type of order is used to manage a ward's finances on an emergency or temporary basis. There is no such thing as a temporary conservator, only a special conservator.

Contact Us

Probate Court

Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue NW, Suite 2500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Filings are accepted until 4:30pm

(616) 632-5440

(616) 632-5430

Judge David Murkowski

Judge David M. Murkowski
Chief Judge Probate Court

Susan B. Flakne, Register

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