Wisconsin guardianships and protective placement attorney in Milwaukee

Wisconsin Guardianship Attorney - Family Lawyers in Milwaukee

A Milwaukee based guardianship attorney in Wisconsin at our firm will help you protect your loved ones for years to come. We assist clients in obtaining guardianship for family and friends when needed. We have also supported hospitals and other care facilities to seek guardianship for residents or patients. When appropriate, we also obtain protective services or protective placement orders.

Protecting Vulnerable Adults and Minors throughout Southeastern Wisconsin

Our elder law attorneys in Milwaukee and lawyers who work with other vulnerable persons, including those with disabilities, understand that guardianship can be a sensitive topic for families. Whenever you consider deciding to override someone’s ability to make decisions for themselves, it can be emotional for everyone. Therefore, we approach guardianship cases with a gentle hand while still providing reliable legal advice. Whatever your specific situation, we have a guardianship attorney from Milwaukee who can help you anywhere throughout Wisconsin. Occasions when guardianship may be an appropriate solution include:

  • parents looking out for the interests of a disabled child
  • grandparents stepping in to raise a grandchild
  • children planning for the future needs for their elderly parents
  • a care facility assisting a resident

If you are considering pursuing a guardianship for someone in Wisconsin, you want to find the best guardianship lawyer to help you. Our Wisconsin guardianship attorneys work hard to help you make the necessary decisions to plan for and protect the needs of people about whom you care.

Frequently asked questions about Wisconsin guardianships

  • What kinds of guardianships are there?
  • What does a guardian do?
  • Is any other protection available for someone who needs a guardianship?
  • What is a conservatorship, a power of attorney, durable power of attorney, or power of attorney for healthcare?
What kinds of guardianship are available in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, a guardianship can either be temporary or permanent. We frequently see two situations for which clients seek a Wisconsin guardianship lawyer:

  1. Guardianship of minors (for children under age 18). In Wisconsin, minor guardianship is an option when parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child.  For example, guardianship is often used as an alternative in children’s court. Specifically, minor guardianship can be an alternative resolution for a CHIPS case in Wisconsin. In particular, guardianship can be used to avoid foster care or to keep families intact when a parent is facing termination of their parental rights. However, there are many reasons why grandparents, families, or other caring persons may petition for guardianship of a child.
  2. ​Guardianship of incompetent adults (of the person or of the estate). In Wisconsin, guardianship is an option to protect an incompetent adult. An adult guardianship may be pursued for anyone who is at least age 17 years 9 months. A Wisconsin guardianship may provide a guardian of the person, of the estate, or both. For example, a guardianship may be appropriate for an adult who is incompetent to make or communicate decisions about health, safety or property. Specifically, guardianship may be appropriate if the person’s incompetency is due to an impairment such as developmental disability, serious and persistent mental illness, a degenerative brain disorder or other like incapacity. However, guardianship is only appropriate if the incapacity will result in substantial, long-term, disability and creates a serious risk of personal or financial harm to him or herself.
What are the responsibilities of a guardian?

A guardian receives the authority to make decisions for another. A person under guardianship is called a ward. The judge may give full authorization to the guardian to make all decisions for their ward or only allowed to make specific decisions for the ward.  General duties of a guardian include the ability to do the following things for their ward:

  • make decisions
  • give consent
  • advocate for the best interests, and options that are least restrictive of the rights, of the person for whom they are the guardian

Guardians must fulfill their duties while also taking the ward’s preferences into account.  Courts can vest authority in the guardian to make, for example, decisions for the health, treatment, safety, lifestyle and other rights of their ward, for protection from abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.  Specifically, guardians may need to manage finances or make decisions about where to live, consent to medical treatment, enter into contracts, marriage, or the exercise of other legal rights.

What protection or services are available for someone declared incompetent?

In addition to seeking guardianship to protect the long term needs of vulnerable children or adults, you have other options too. A Wisconsin guardianship attorney may also seek protective services or protective placement for a ward who is incapable of caring for their own needs independently. Sometimes families need to protectively place a loved one in a residential or another type of treatment facility to support their medical or other needs.  

When circumstances necessitate protective placement, the guardian must take care to find an appropriate environment to place the ward. An appropriate environment is an environment that is the least restrictive of the person’s rights and liberty, while meeting their individual needs for care or protection.  In contrast to a protective placement, protective services are a less intrusive means to support individuals. Further, protective services are available in every county in Wisconsin. Protective services are provided by the county or contracted agencies.  Specifically, protective services include any kind of care available to assist a person who needs it.  Your Wisconsin guardianship attorney from Milwaukee can assist with a petition for protective placement or services for your ward.

What is a conservatorship, a power of attorney, durable power of attorney, or power of attorney for healthcare?

A conservatorship is a voluntary action where a person can petition a court to appoint someone to manage their finances.  A conservatorship does not require a finding of incompetence. The subject of a conservatorship may request that the court terminate a conservatorship at any time.  Wisconsin law describes conservatorships here.

Power of Attorney

In Wisconsin, a power of attorney gives broad or specific authority to another person to manage the person’s finances.   A person can revoke general powers of attorney at any time. Powers of attorney terminate if the person becomes incapacitated.  Unlike a guardian of an estate, a court does not supervise a power of attorney.

Durable Power of Attorney

In Wisconsin, a durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that can be invoked or continues when the person becomes incapacitated.

Power of Attorney for Healthcare

​In Wisconsin, a health care power of attorney gives authority to an agent to make health care decisions on the persons behalf in the event the person becomes incapacitated.

Contact us for a free initial consultation at our Milwaukee family law firm. Our Wisconsin guardianship attorney can help with guardianship needs anywhere throughout Wisconsin.