Guardianships for Legally Incapacitated Adults

Filing Procedure

  • Note: The Court is prohibited by law (Sec. 1211 of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code [EPIC]) from providing legal advice and completing forms. This item provides general information concerning the filing procedure for adult guardianships and may be used as a guide. If you have any questions, consider contacting an attorney for assistance.
  • Filing Fee: $175 (plus $12 for letters of Guardianship after hearing)
  • Forms Used:

Service Publication

Service Publication is required for persons whose address or whereabouts are unknown. You may wish to contact:

Norton-Lakeshore Examiner
950 W Norton Avenue, Suite 402
P.O. Box 357
Muskegon, MI 49443
Phone: 231-739-6397
Fax: 231-737-1520
Friday noon deadline / publish on Wednesdays

Muskegon County Legal News
950 W Norton Avenue, Suite 402
P.O. Box 357
Muskegon, MI 49443
Phone: 231-739-6397
Fax: 231-737-1520
Wednesday noon deadline / publish on Mondays

The Muskegon Chronicle
981 Third Street, 2nd Floor
Display / Advertising Department
Muskegon, MI 49442
Phone: 231-726-3200
Fax: 231-726-3434

The White Lake Beacon
432 E Spring
P.O. BOX 98
Whitehall, MI 49461
Phone: 231-894-5356
Fax: 231-894-2174
Thursday at 1 p.m. deadline / publish on Sundays

Interested Persons

The interested persons need to be listed on the petition, along with their proper address. If an interested person is not included or is not properly served, the hearing cannot be held. The interested person(s) in a petition for appointment of a guardian of a legally incapacitated individual are:

  • The alleged legally incapacitated individual,
  • If known, a person named as attorney in fact under a durable power of attorney,
  • The alleged legally incapacitated individual’s spouse,
  • The alleged legally incapacitated individual’s children or, if no adult child is living, the individual’s parents,
  • If no spouse, child, or parent is living, the presumptive heirs of the individual,
  • The person who has the care and custody of the alleged legally incapacitated individual,
  • The nominated guardian.

Note: The petition must include specific facts about the adult’s condition and examples of the adult’s recent conduct that demonstrates the need for the appointment of a guardian.

Hearing Date

Your petition will be set for hearing by the Court. Typically, the hearing date is 6 to 8 weeks after the petition is filed. You must attend the hearing or your petition will be dismissed.

Guardian ad Litem

The Court must, by law, appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to represent the interest of the alleged incapacitated individual unless the person has his/her own attorney. It will be the GAL’s responsibility to visit the person and make a recommendation as to whether or not a guardian is needed.

The GAL is not an employee of the Court, but is a licensed practicing attorney appointed by the Court. You are responsible for the attorney's fee.


If the person alleged to be legally incapacitated objects to the petition, the guardian ad litem must report this to the Court. The Court must then remove the guardian ad litem and appoint an attorney to object of the petition. The attorney will appear at the hearing to represent the alleged legally incapacitated individual.