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Probate Court -Guardian of Minor

Filing Fee is $185.00 at the time of filing. Probate Court can accept cash, money order or check payable to the Chippewa County Probate Court.

Who may file the petition? Any person interested in the welfare of the minor, or a minor 14 years of age or older, may petition for the appointment of a guardian of a minor. While any interested person may petition for a full guardianship, only the custodial parent or parents may petition for a limited guardianship.

What happens after the petition is filed with the court? After the Court receives the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor or Limited Guardian of Minor and the required filing fee, the Court schedules a hearing and appoints the Department of Human Services to conduct an investigation of the circumstances that have caused the guardianship petition. The Department of Human Services makes determinations and reports to the court on whether the guardianship is recommended or other alternatives to a guardianship.

Who must receive notice? There are certain people entitled to know the hearing is taking place. The petitioner must give notice of the time and place of the hearing on the petition to the minor, if he or she is 14 years old or older; each person who had the principal care and custody of the minor during the 63 days before the petition was filed; the parents of the minor, or if neither parent is living, any grandparents and the adult presumptive heirs of the minor; the nominated guardian.

Additional special persons who may need to be notified are the following: The Veterans Administration if the minor is receiving benefits; any guardian, conservator, or guardian ad litem of an interested person; any attorney who has filed an appearance; the Indian tribe for which the minor is a member of or is eligible for membership.

-All interested persons must be served with the notice of hearing 14 days by mail or 7 days personal service prior to the hearing date. What will happen at the hearing? The petitioner is required to be present at the hearing. The hearing may be short if everyone is in agreement and everything is in order. If proper persons have not been served or the file is not otherwise in order, the case may be postponed or the petition dismissed. If the petition is contested, the hearing may take longer to give all interested parties time to testify. The court will take into consideration the recommendations of the Department of Human Services, the minor, and the circumstances that caused the guardianship prior to determining if a guardianship is necessary.

What are the duties of a guardian? A full guardian has the same powers and responsibilities toward a child as does a custodial parent, except that a guardian is not obligated to support the ward with personal funds and is not liable to third parties for the ward’s acts.

A limited guardian has all the powers and duties of a full guardian except that a limited guardian may not consent to the ward’s adoption, the ward’s release for adoption, or the marriage of a minor ward.

It is important to carefully read the court’s order and the document called “Letters of Authority” to see the full extend of the guardian’s duties. If the minor moves to a difference address, the guardian must notify the court. The guardian must take reasonable care of the ward’s personal effects and protective proceedings if necessary to protect the ward’s property. The guardian may not sell the ward’s interest in real property without court authorization. The guardian may receive money for the ward’s support, spend it on the ward’s current needs for support, care, and education; and exercise due care to conserve the excess. The money is not to be used to compensate the guardian for services rendered. The guardian must facilitate the ward’s education and social activities and authorize medical or other professional care.

-The guardian must file a detailed report of the ward’s condition, including any medical treatment given to the ward; the assets in the guardian’s control; and reason for continuing the guardianship. The court sends out pre-notices with the form one month prior to your due date. The guardian may wish to keep a diary to make this important task simpler and more meaningful. The following areas are important to keep track of: the ward’s living arrangement; physical health; education; activities of minor, parenting time and whether the guardianship may be continued.

-The court orders a review of the guardianship not later than one year after the appointment of the guardian and every year thereafter. The person appointed to review the guardianship must visit the legally minor and guardian and report to the court whether the guardianship should continue without or with modification or be terminated. After informal review of the report, the court enters an order continuing the guardianship or schedule a hearing if modification of the guardian is recommended.

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