Developmentally Disabled Guardianships - Grand Traverse County Probate Court

Guardianship of Individual, Alleged Developmental Disability

This page is meant to provide you with general information in regards to filing a petition.  Please note: Our staff is prohibited by law from giving you legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you require assistance filling out these forms.

Who Can File

A Petition for Appointment of Guardian, Individual with Alleged Developmental Disability can be filed by a parent, an individual on his or her own behalf, or any other interested person or entity.


  • Filing fee: There is no filing fee for this petition.
  • Certified copy: If you request a certified copy of your Letters of Guardianship, the cost is $12.
  • Publication fee: If you do not know the address of an interested person in the guardianship matter, you will be required to publish in the newspaper. This fee is around $75 and is subject to change. This fee is collected by the newspaper.

Standby Guardian

A standby guardian can act in case of an emergency, or if the guardian dies or becomes incapacitated.  If you wish to have a standby guardian appointed along with the guardian, please see #15 on the petition.

Appointment of Attorney

Upon the filing of a petition, the court will appoint an attorney for the person who is the subject of this petition. The attorney will act as an advocate for that person’s wishes.


A guardianship evaluation will be ordered by the court for the person who is the subject of the petition. This must be done prior to the appointment of a guardian. The evaluation will involve that person’s: 
  • Mental condition
  • Physical condition
  • Social and educational condition
  • Adaptive behavior
  • Social skills
  • Current medications
The evaluation will also include a recommendation to the court about the extent of guardianship that the person needs.  If any or all of these evaluations have already been conducted within 1 year of filing, please provide copies of them when filing your petition.

The Hearing

The hearing on the Petition for Appointment of Guardian will take place within 30 days after you file your petition. The court will notify all interested persons of the hearing date and time.  The petitioner must attend the hearing.  Also, the person who is the subject of the petition MUST attend the hearing, unless there is a showing, supported by affidavit of a physician or psychologist, that such attendance would subject the individual to serious risk of physical or emotional harm.

Required Forms

  • PC 658 (PDF) - Petition for Appointment of Guardian, Individual with Alleged Developmental Disability
  • MC 97 (PDF) - Protected Personal Identifying Information
  • PC 571 (PDF) – Acceptance of Appointment (signed by any proposed guardian)
  • MC 97a (PDF) - Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information
Optional Form
PLEASE NOTE that a guardian may not change the person's residence out of the county without a prior court order.

These instructions are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to give you general information. If your petition is contested or complex, it is recommended that you talk to an attorney.