• Introduction to Guardianship

    Once a child reaches the age of 18 the parent’s status as guardian for their child terminates automatically by law. Only through appointment as guardian, either plenary (full) or partial, by a probate court, where a judge declares some to be legally incompetent can you continue to act as your child guardian. Obtaining guardianship is one option toward ensuring a level of security. Other options include: acting as “next of kin” in medical situations, acting as a “representative payee” when handling governmental financial benefits, acting as a “trustee” of a private trust, acting as a readily recognized advocate, or obtaining a “power of attorney.” The following information is specific for obtaining guardianship if you are interested in finding about alternatives to guardianship please contact the ARC of Oakland County at (248) 816-1900 or your CMH agency provider.


    Applying for Guardianship

    When applying for guardianship it is important to note that there are two types:

    • Plenary Guardianship – This is full representation of the person and of their estate. Plenary guardianship does not require renewal.
    • Partial Guardianship – This allows the guardian to make decisions regarding residential placement, medical treatment, financial issues, and contractual issues. Partial Guardianship must be renewed every 3-5 years.

    To apply for or to renew existing partial guardianship the following steps are necessary:

    • Fill out two court required forms, the PC658 form (Petition for appointment of Guardian) and the PC659 form (Report to Accompany Petition). Both forms can be obtained through the Probate Court or downloaded at Go to Court Forms, then to Conservator and Guardianship, then to PC658 and PC659.
    • A psychological evaluation dated within the last 12 months, signed in original ink by the psychologist who will attend the hearing. Psychological evaluations can be completed by Cloverdale School psychologist, Linda Fershtman, a private psychologist of your choosing, a Community Mental Health psychologist (through MORC or CLS), or a psychologist through Oakland County Probate Court.
    • A photocopy of your child’s most recent IEP.
    • A medical report within the last 12 months stating that your child’s health status with a listing of all medications that your child currently takes.
    • All completed forms are to be sent to:

      Oakland County Probate Court
      Attn: Mental Health Division, Dept. #457
      1200 North Telegraph Road
      Pontiac, MI 48341-0457
    • Probate Court will notify you of a guardianship hearing date. Those petitioning for guardianship, the person requiring guardianship (you may request that the person be excused for severe medical reasons with a doctor’s statement), and the psychologist who completed the evaluation must attend this guardianship hearing.

    There are no filing fees for guardianship of an individual with a developmental disability and you do not need to hire an attorney for this service.


    Alternatives To Applying For Guardianship

    If you would prefer to not have guardianship of your developmentally disabled child there are other options:

    • You can become your child’s power of attorney
      • This is renewed every 3 years
    • You can act as “Next of Kin” in a medical situation
    • You can act as a “representative payee” when handling governmental financial benefits
    • You can act as a “trustee” of private trusts
    • You can act as a “readily recognized advocate” for your child


    Additional Information

    For additional information regarding guardianship or guardianship alternatives contact:

    Donna Klebba, Cloverdale School Social Worker, (248) 426-5216
    The ARC of Oakland County, (248) 816-1900