54.01(18) (18) "Least restrictive" means that which places the least possible restriction on personal liberty and the exercise of rights and that promotes the greatest possible integration of an individual into his or her community that is consistent with meeting his or her essential requirements for health, safety, habilitation, treatment, and recovery and protecting him or her from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
54.01(19) (19) "Meet the essential requirements for physical health or safety" means perform those actions necessary to provide the health care, food, shelter, clothes, personal hygiene, and other care without which serious physical injury or illness will likely occur.
54.01(20) (20) "Minor" means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
54.01(21) (21) "Mortgage" means any agreement or arrangement in which property is used as security.
54.01(22) (22) "Other like incapacities" means those conditions incurred at any age that are the result of accident, organic brain damage, mental or physical disability, or continued consumption or absorption of substances, and that produce a condition that substantially impairs an individual from providing for his or her own care or custody.
54.01(23) (23) "Personal representative" means any individual to whom letters to administer a decedent's estate have been granted by the court or by the probate registrar under ch. 865, but does not include a special administrator.
54.01(24) (24) "Physician" has the meaning given in s. 448.01 (5).
54.01(25) (25) "Property" means any interest, legal or equitable, in real or personal property, without distinction as to kind, including money, rights of a beneficiary under a contractual arrangement, choses in action, and anything else that may be the subject of ownership.
54.01(26) (26) "Proposed ward" means a minor, an individual alleged to be incompetent, or an alleged spendthrift, for whom a petition for guardianship is filed.
54.01(27) (27) "Psychologist" means a licensed psychologist, as defined in s. 455.01 (4).
54.01(28) (28) "Psychotropic medication" means a prescription drug, as defined in s. 450.01 (20), that is used to treat or manage a psychiatric symptom or challenging behavior.
54.01(29) (29) "Sale" includes an option or agreement to transfer whether the consideration is cash or credit. It includes exchange, partition, and settlement of title disputes. The intent of this subsection is to extend and not to limit the meaning of "sale."
54.01(30) (30) "Serious and persistent mental illness" means a mental illness that is severe in degree and persistent in duration, that causes a substantially diminished level of functioning in the primary aspects of daily living and an inability to cope with the ordinary demands of life, that may lead to an inability to maintain stable adjustment and independent functioning without long-term treatment and support and that may be of lifelong duration. "Serious and persistent mental illness" includes schizophrenia as well as a wide spectrum of psychotic and other severely disabling psychiatric diagnostic categories, but does not include degenerative brain disorder or a primary diagnosis of a developmental disability or of alcohol or drug dependence.
54.01(31) (31) "Spendthrift" means a person who, because of the use of alcohol or other drugs or because of gambling or other wasteful course of conduct, is unable to manage effectively his or her financial affairs or is likely to affect the health, life, or property of himself, herself, or others so as to endanger his or her support and the support of his or her dependents, if any, or expose the public to responsibility for his or her support.
54.01(32) (32) "Standby conservator" means an individual designated by the court under s. 54.76 (2) whose appointment as conservator becomes effective immediately upon the death, resignation, or court's removal of the initially appointed conservator, or if the initially appointed conservator is temporarily or permanently unable, unavailable, or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties.
54.01(33) (33) "Standby guardian" means an individual designated by the court under s. 54.52 (2) whose appointment as guardian becomes effective immediately upon the death, resignation, or court's removal of the initially appointed guardian, or if the initially appointed guardian is temporarily or permanently unable, unavailable, or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties.
54.01(34) (34) "Successor conservator" means an individual appointed under s. 54.76 (9).
54.01(35) (35) "Successor guardian" means an individual appointed under s. 54.54.
54.01(36) (36) "Surviving spouse" means an individual who was married to the decedent at the time of the decedent's death. "Surviving spouse" does not include any of the following:
54.01(36)(a) (a) An individual who obtains or consents to a final decree or judgment of divorce from the decedent or an annulment of their marriage, if the decree or judgment is not recognized as valid in this state, unless the 2 subsequently participated in a marriage ceremony purporting to marry each other or they subsequently held themselves out as husband and wife.
54.01(36)(b) (b) An individual who, following an invalid decree or judgment of divorce or annulment obtained by the decedent, participates in a marriage ceremony with a 3rd individual.
54.01(36)(c) (c) An individual who was party to a valid proceeding concluded by an order purporting to terminate all property rights based on the marriage with the decedent.
54.01(37) (37) "Ward" means an individual for whom a guardian has been appointed.
54.01(38) (38) "Will" includes a codicil and any document incorporated by reference in a testamentary document under s. 853.32 (1) or (2). "Will" does not include a copy, unless the copy has been proven as a will under s. 856.17, but "will" does include a properly executed duplicate original.
54.01 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 46.011 for definitions applicable to chs. 46, 48, 50, 51, 54, 55 and 58.
54.01 Annotation Landmark Reforms Signed Into Law: Guardianship and Adult Protective Services. Abramson & Raymond. Wis. Law. Aug. 2006.
subch. II of ch. 54 SUBCHAPTER II
APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN
54.10 54.10 Appointment of guardian.
54.10(1) (1) A court may appoint a guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate, or both, for an individual if the court determines that the individual is a minor.
54.10(2) (2)
54.10(2)(a)(a) A court may appoint a guardian of the estate for an individual if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is aged at least 18 years and is a spendthrift.
54.10(2)(b) (b) In appointing a guardian of the estate under this subsection or determining what powers are appropriate for the guardian of the estate to exercise under s. 54.18 or 54.20, the court shall consider all of the following:
54.10(2)(b)1. 1. The report of the guardian ad litem, as required in s. 54.40 (4).
54.10(2)(b)2. 2. The medical or psychological report provided under s. 54.36 (1) and any additional medical, psychological, or other evaluation ordered by the court under s. 54.40 (4) (e) or offered by a party and received by the court.
54.10(2)(b)3. 3. Whether other reliable resources are available to provide for the individual's personal needs or property management, and whether appointment of a guardian of the estate is the least restrictive means to provide for the individual's need for a substitute decision maker.
54.10(2)(b)4. 4. The preferences, desires, and values of the individual with regard to personal needs or property management.
54.10(2)(b)5. 5. The nature and extent of the individual's care and treatment needs and property and financial affairs.
54.10(2)(b)6. 6. Whether the individual's situation places him or her at risk of abuse, exploitation, neglect, or violation of rights.
54.10(2)(b)7. 7. The extent of the demands placed on the individual by his or her personal needs and by the nature and extent of his or her property and financial affairs.
54.10(2)(b)8. 8. Any mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence of the individual and the prognosis of the mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence.
54.10(2)(b)9. 9. Whether the effect on the individual's evaluative capacity is likely to be temporary or long term, and whether the effect may be ameliorated by appropriate treatment.
54.10(2)(b)10. 10. Other relevant evidence.
54.10(2)(c) (c) Before appointing a guardian of the estate under this subsection or determining what powers are appropriate for the guardian of the estate to exercise under s. 54.18 or 54.20, the court shall determine if additional medical, psychological, social, vocational, or educational evaluation is necessary for the court to make an informed decision respecting the individual.
54.10(2)(d) (d) In appointing a guardian of the estate under this subsection, the court shall authorize the guardian of the estate to exercise only those powers under ss. 54.18 and 54.20 that are necessary to provide for the individual's personal needs and property management and to exercise the powers in a manner that is appropriate to the individual and that constitutes the least restrictive form of intervention.
54.10(3) (3)
54.10(3)(a)(a) A court may appoint a guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate, or both, for an individual based on a finding that the individual is incompetent only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that all of the following are true:
54.10(3)(a)1. 1. The individual is aged at least 17 years and 9 months.
54.10(3)(a)2. 2. For purposes of appointment of a guardian of the person, because of an impairment, the individual is unable effectively to receive and evaluate information or to make or communicate decisions to such an extent that the individual is unable to meet the essential requirements for his or her physical health and safety.
54.10(3)(a)3. 3. For purposes of appointment of a guardian of the estate, because of an impairment, the individual is unable effectively to receive and evaluate information or to make or communicate decisions related to management of his or her property or financial affairs, to the extent that any of the following applies:
54.10(3)(a)3.a. a. The individual has property that will be dissipated in whole or in part.
54.10(3)(a)3.b. b. The individual is unable to provide for his or her support.
54.10(3)(a)3.c. c. The individual is unable to prevent financial exploitation.
54.10(3)(a)4. 4. The individual's need for assistance in decision making or communication is unable to be met effectively and less restrictively through appropriate and reasonably available training, education, support services, health care, assistive devices, or other means that the individual will accept.
54.10(3)(b) (b) Unless the proposed ward is unable to communicate decisions effectively in any way, the determination under par. (a) may not be based on mere old age, eccentricity, poor judgment, or physical disability.
54.10(3)(c) (c) In appointing a guardian under this subsection, declaring incompetence to exercise a right under s. 54.25 (2) (c), or determining what powers are appropriate for the guardian to exercise under s. 54.18, 54.20, or 54.25 (2) (d), the court shall consider all of the following:
54.10(3)(c)1. 1. The report of the guardian ad litem, as required in s. 54.40 (4).
54.10(3)(c)2. 2. The medical or psychological report provided under s. 54.36 (1) and any additional medical, psychological, or other evaluation ordered by the court under s. 54.40 (4) (e) or offered by a party and received by the court.
54.10(3)(c)3. 3. Whether the proposed ward has engaged in any advance planning for financial and health care decision making that would avoid guardianship, including by executing a durable power of attorney under ch. 244, a power of attorney for health care, as defined in s. 155.01 (10), a trust, or a jointly held account.
54.10(3)(c)4. 4. Whether other reliable resources are available to provide for the individual's personal needs or property management, and whether appointment of a guardian is the least restrictive means to provide for the individual's need for a substitute decision maker.
54.10(3)(c)5. 5. The preferences, desires, and values of the individual with regard to personal needs or property management.
54.10(3)(c)6. 6. The nature and extent of the individual's care and treatment needs and property and financial affairs.
54.10(3)(c)7. 7. Whether the individual's situation places him or her at risk of abuse, exploitation, neglect, or violation of rights.
54.10(3)(c)8. 8. Whether the individual can adequately understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of his or her impairment.
54.10(3)(c)9. 9. The individual's management of the activities of daily living.
54.10(3)(c)10. 10. The individual's understanding and appreciation of the nature and consequences of any inability he or she may have with regard to personal needs or property management.
54.10(3)(c)11. 11. The extent of the demands placed on the individual by his or her personal needs and by the nature and extent of his or her property and financial affairs.
54.10(3)(c)12. 12. Any physical illness of the individual and the prognosis of the individual.
54.10(3)(c)13. 13. Any mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence of the individual and the prognosis of the mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence.
54.10(3)(c)14. 14. Any medication with which the individual is being treated and the medication's effect on the individual's behavior, cognition, and judgment.
54.10(3)(c)15. 15. Whether the effect on the individual's evaluative capacity is likely to be temporary or long term, and whether the effect may be ameliorated by appropriate treatment.
54.10(3)(c)16. 16. Other relevant evidence.
54.10(3)(d) (d) Before appointing a guardian under this subsection, declaring incompetence to exercise a right under s. 54.25 (2) (c), or determining what powers are appropriate for the guardian to exercise under s. 54.18, 54.20, or 54.25 (2) (d), the court shall determine if additional medical, psychological, social, vocational, or educational evaluation is necessary for the court to make an informed decision respecting the individual's competency to exercise legal rights and may obtain assistance in the manner provided in s. 55.11 (1) whether or not protective placement is made.
54.10(3)(e) (e) In appointing a guardian under this subsection, the court shall authorize the guardian to exercise only those powers under ss. 54.18, 54.20, and 54.25 (2) (d) that are necessary to provide for the individual's personal needs and property management and to exercise the powers in a manner that is appropriate to the individual and that constitutes the least restrictive form of intervention.
54.10(3)(f)1.1. If the court appoints a guardian of the person under this subsection, the court shall determine if, under 18 USC 922 (g) (4), the individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm. If the individual is prohibited, the court shall order the individual not to possess a firearm, order the seizure of any firearm owned by the individual, and inform the individual of the requirements and penalties under s. 941.29.
54.10(3)(f)2.a.a. If a court orders under subd. 1. an individual not to possess a firearm, the individual may petition that court or the court in the county where the individual resides to cancel the order.
54.10(3)(f)2.b. b. The court considering the petition under subd. 2. a. shall grant the petition if the court determines that the circumstances regarding the appointment of a guardian under this subsection and the individual's record and reputation indicate that the individual is not likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the petition would not be contrary to public interest.
54.10(3)(f)2.c. c. If the court grants the petition under subd. 2. b., the court shall cancel the order under subd. 1. and order the return of any firearm ordered seized under subd. 1.
54.10(3)(f)3. 3. In lieu of ordering the seizure under subd. 1., the court may designate a person to store the firearm until the order under subd. 1. is canceled under subd. 2. c.
54.10(3)(f)4. 4. If the court orders under subd. 1. an individual not to possess a firearm or cancels under subd. 2. c. an order issued under subd. 1., the court clerk shall notify the department of justice of the order or cancellation and provide any information identifying the individual that is necessary to permit an accurate firearms restrictions record search under s. 175.35 (2g) (c), a background check under s. 175.60 (9g) (a), or an accurate response under s. 165.63. No other information from the individual's court records may be disclosed to the department of justice except by order of the court. The department of justice may disclose information provided under this subdivision only to respond to a request under s. 165.63, as part of a firearms restrictions record search under s. 175.35 (2g) (c), under rules the department of justice promulgates under s. 175.35 (2g) (d), or as part of a background check under s. 175.60 (9g) (a).
54.10(4) (4) If the court appoints both a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate for an individual other than an individual found to be a spendthrift, the court may appoint separate persons to be guardian of the person and of the estate, or may appoint one person to act as both.
54.10(5) (5) The court may appoint coguardians of the person or coguardians of the estate, subject to any conditions that the court imposes.
54.10 History History: 2005 a. 387; 2007 a. 45; 2009 a. 258, 319; 2013 a. 223.
54.10 Annotation Under former s. 880.03, in evaluating a petition for a permanent guardianship on behalf of a minor filed by a non-parent when a parent objects, a court must first determine whether the party bringing the guardianship petition has shown that the child is in need of a guardian because there exist extraordinary circumstances requiring medical aid or the prevention of harm. Absent a showing of such extraordinary circumstances or need for a guardian, the court cannot appoint a guardian. Robin K. v. Lamanda M. 2006 WI 68, 291 Wis. 2d 333, 718 N.W.2d 38, 04-0767.
54.10 Annotation In a custody dispute triggered by a petition for guardianship between a birth parent and a non-parent, the threshold inquiry is whether the parent is unfit, unable to care for the child, or there are compelling reasons for awarding custody to the non-parent. Consideration of a minor's nomination of a guardian presupposes that the need for a guardian has been established. If it is determined that the birth parent is fit and able to care for the child and no compelling reasons exist to appoint a non-parent guardian, the minor's nomination of a guardian becomes moot. Nicholas C. L. v. Julie R. L. 2006 WI App 119, 293 Wis. 2d 819, 719 N.W.2d 508, 05-1754.
54.10 Note NOTE: The above annotations relate to guardianships under ch. 880, stats., prior to the revision of and renumbering of that chapter to ch. 54 by 2005 Wis. Act 387.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Oct. 4, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Oct. 4, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-4-14)