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.
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.
The preferences, desires, and values of the individual with regard to personal needs or property management.
The nature and extent of the individual's care and treatment needs and property and financial affairs.
Whether the individual's situation places him or her at risk of abuse, exploitation, neglect, or violation of rights.
Whether the individual can adequately understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of his or her impairment.
The individual's management of the activities of daily living.
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.
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.
Any physical illness of the individual and the prognosis of the individual.
Any mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence of the individual and the prognosis of the mental disability, alcoholism, or other drug dependence.
Any medication with which the individual is being treated and the medication's effect on the individual's behavior, cognition, and judgment.
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.
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
, 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.
In appointing a guardian under this subsection, the court shall authorize the guardian to exercise only those powers under ss. 54.18
, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
The court may appoint coguardians of the person or coguardians of the estate, subject to any conditions that the court imposes.
Section 752.31 (2) (d) and (3) provides that appeals in protective placement cases under ch. 55 are heard by a single court of appeals judge while the general rule under s. 752.31 (1) is that cases disposed of on the merits, including guardianship orders under this chapter, are heard by a three-judge panel. When an appeal is taken from a single action granting both a guardianship and protective placement petition, the appeal is to be decided by a three-judge panel. Waukesha County v. Genevieve M., 2009 WI App 173
, 322 Wis. 2d 131
, 776 N.W.2d 640
Exceptions to appointment of guardian. 54.12(1)(1)
If a minor or an individual found incompetent, except for his or her incapacity, is entitled to possess assets valued at the amount specified in s. 867.03 (1g)
or less, any court in which an action or proceeding involving the assets is pending may, without requiring the appointment of a guardian, order that the register in probate do one of the following:
Deposit the property in an interest-bearing account in a bank or other financial institution insured by an agency of the federal government or invest the property in interest-bearing obligations of the United States. The fee for services of the register in probate in depositing and disbursing the funds under this paragraph is prescribed in s. 814.66 (1) (n)
Make payment to the parent of the minor or to the person having actual custody of the minor.
Make payment to the person having actual or legal custody of the incompetent or to the person providing for the care and maintenance of the individual found incompetent for the benefit of the individual found incompetent.
Make payment to the agent under a durable power of attorney of the ward.
Make payment to the trustee of any trust created for the benefit of the ward.
If an individual found incompetent, except for his or her incapacity, a minor, or a spendthrift is entitled to possession of assets of a value of the amount specified in s. 867.03 (1g) (intro.)
or less from an estate administered through informal administration under ch. 865
, the personal representative may, without the appointment of a guardian, do any of the following:
With the approval of the register in probate, take one of the actions specified in sub. (1) (a)
With the approval of the guardian ad litem of the minor or individual found incompetent, take one of the actions specified in sub. (1) (a)
and file proof of the action taken and of the approval of the guardian ad litem with the probate registrar instead of filing a receipt under s. 865.21
Uniform gifts and transfers to minors.
If a minor, except for his or her incapacity, is entitled to possession of personal property of any value, any court in which an action or proceeding involving the property is pending may, without requiring the appointment of a guardian, order payment, subject to any limitations the court may impose, to a custodian for the minor designated by the court under ss. 54.854
or under the uniform gifts to minors act or uniform transfers to minors act of any other state.
NOMINATION OF GUARDIAN;
POWERS AND DUTIES; LIMITATIONS
Selection of guardian; nominations; preferences; other criteria.
The court shall consider all of the following in determining who is appointed as guardian:
Opinions of proposed ward and family.
The court shall take into consideration the opinions of the proposed ward and of the members of his or her family as to what is in the best interests of the proposed ward. However, the best interests of the proposed ward shall control in making the determination when the opinions of the family are in conflict with those best interests.
Potential conflicts of interest.
The court shall also consider potential conflicts of interest resulting from the prospective guardian's employment or other potential conflicts of interest.
Agent under durable power of attorney.
The court shall appoint as guardian of the estate an agent under a proposed ward's durable power of attorney, unless the court finds that the appointment of an agent is not in the best interests of the proposed ward.
Agent under a power of attorney for health care.
The court shall appoint as guardian of the person the agent under a proposed ward's power of attorney for health care, unless the court finds that the appointment of the agent is not in the best interests of the proposed ward.
Person nominated by proposed ward. 54.15(4)(a)
Any individual other than a minor aged 14 years or younger may, if the individual does not have incapacity to such an extent that he or she is unable to form a reasonable and informed preference, execute a written instrument, in the same manner as the execution of a will under s. 853.03
, nominating another to be appointed as guardian of his or her person or estate or both if a guardian is in the future appointed for the individual. The court shall appoint this nominee as guardian unless the court finds that the appointment is not in the best interests of the proposed ward.
A minor who is 14 years or older may in writing in circuit court nominate his or her own guardian, but if the minor is in the armed service, is outside of the state, or if other good reason exists, the court may dispense with the minor's right of nomination.
If neither parent of a minor who is 14 years or older is suitable and willing to be appointed guardian, the court may appoint the nominee of the minor.
Parent of a proposed ward.
If one or both of the parents of a minor or an individual with developmental disability or with serious and persistent mental illness are suitable and willing, the court shall appoint one or both as guardian unless the court finds that the appointment is not in the proposed ward's best interest. The court shall consider a proposed ward's objection to the appointment of his or her parent.
Testamentary nomination by proposed ward's parents.
Subject to the rights of a surviving parent, a parent may by will nominate a guardian and successor guardian of the estate for any of his or her minor children who is in need of guardianship, unless the court finds that appointment of the guardian or successor guardian is not in the minor's best interests. For an individual who is aged 18 or older and is found to be in need of guardianship by reason of a developmental disability or serious and persistent mental illness, a parent may by will nominate a testamentary guardian. The parent may waive the requirement of a bond for such an estate that is derived through a will.
Private nonprofit corporation or other entity.
A private nonprofit corporation organized under ch. 181
, or 188
or an unincorporated association that is approved by the court may be appointed as guardian of the person or of the estate or both, of a proposed ward, if no suitable individual is available as guardian and the department, under rules promulgated under this chapter, finds the corporation or association to be a suitable agency to perform such duties.
See also ch. DHS 85
, Wis. adm. code.
Statement of acts by proposed guardian. 54.15(8)(a)
At least 96 hours before the hearing under s. 54.44
, the proposed guardian shall submit to the court a sworn and notarized statement as to whether any of the following is true:
The proposed guardian is currently charged with or has been convicted of a crime, as defined in s. 939.12
The proposed guardian has filed for or received protection under the federal bankruptcy laws.
Any license, certificate, permit, or registration of the proposed guardian that is required under chs. 89
, or 440
or by the laws of another state for the practice of a profession or occupation has been suspended or revoked.
If par. (a) 1.
, or 4.
applies to the proposed guardian, he or she shall include in the sworn and notarized statement a description of the circumstances surrounding the applicable event under par. (a) 1.
, or 4.
Limitation on number of wards of guardian.
No individual may have guardianship of the person of more than 5 adult wards who are unrelated to the individual, except that a court may, under circumstances that the court determines are appropriate, waive this limitation to authorize appointment of the individual as guardian of the person of additional adult wards who are unrelated to the individual. A corporation or association that is approved by the department under sub. (7)
is not limited in the number of adult wards for which the corporation or association may accept appointment by a court as guardian.
An unfit parent's nomination of a person to serve as guardian of his or her children should be weighed by the court. In re Guardianship of Schmidt, 71 Wis. 2d 317
, 237 N.W.2d 919
A parent's fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of a child is not violated if his or her nomination of a guardian is not presumed to be in the child's best interests when the parent is unable to have custody and provide care. The preference in s. 880.09 (2) [now sub. (5)] does not address a parent's wishes for another to act as guardian when the parent is not suitable to act as guardian. The circuit court is to only give the nomination of a surviving parent who is not suitable to be a guardian the weight that the circuit court considers appropriate in light of all the evidence. Anna S. v. Diana M., 2004 WI App 45
, 270 Wis. 2d 411
, 678 N.W.2d 285
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
General duties and powers of guardian; limitations; immunity. 54.18(1)(1)
A ward retains all his or her rights that are not assigned to the guardian or otherwise limited by statute. A guardian acting on behalf of a ward may exercise only those powers that the guardian is authorized to exercise by statute or court order. A guardian may be granted only those powers necessary to provide for the personal needs or property management of the ward in a manner that is appropriate to the ward and that constitutes the least restrictive form of intervention.
A guardian shall do all of the following:
Exercise the degree of care, diligence, and good faith when acting on behalf of a ward that an ordinarily prudent person exercises in his or her own affairs.
Advocate for the ward's best interests, including, if the ward is protectively placed under ch. 55
and if applicable, advocating for the ward's applicable rights under ss. 50.09
Exhibit the utmost degree of trustworthiness, loyalty, and fidelity in relation to the ward.
Notify the court of any change of address of the guardian or ward.
No guardian may do any of the following:
Lend funds of the ward to himself or herself.
Lend funds of the ward to another individual or to an entity, unless the court first approves the terms, rate of interest, and any requirement for security.
Purchase property of the ward, except at fair market value, subject to ch. 786
, and with the approval of the court.
A guardian of the person or of the estate is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in performing the duties of the guardianship if he or she performs the duties in good faith, in the best interests of the ward, and with the degree of diligence and prudence that an ordinarily prudent person exercises in his or her own affairs.
History: 2005 a. 387
Duties of guardian of the estate.
Subject to s. 54.18 (1)
and except as specifically limited in the order of appointment, the guardian of the estate shall, following any applicable procedures of s. 54.22
, do all of the following in order to provide a ward with the greatest amount of independence and self-determination with respect to property management in light of the ward's functional level, understanding, and appreciation of his or her functional limitations and the ward's personal wishes and preferences with regard to managing the activities of daily living:
Take possession of the ward's real and personal property, of any rents, income, and benefits accruing from the property, and of any proceeds arising from the sale, mortgage, lease, or exchange of the property, and prepare an inventory of these. Subject to this possession, the title of all the income and assets of the ward and the increment and proceeds of the income and assets of the ward remains vested in the ward and is not vested in the guardian.
Retain, expend, distribute, sell, or invest the ward's property, rents, income, benefits, and proceeds and account for all of them, subject to chs. 786
Determine, if the ward has executed a will, the will's location, determine the appropriate persons to be notified in the event of the ward's death, and, if the death occurs, notify those persons.
Use the ward's income and property to maintain and support the ward and any dependents of the ward.
Prepare and file an annual account as specified in s. 54.62
At the termination of the guardianship, deliver the ward's assets to the persons entitled to them.
With respect to claims, pay the legally enforceable debts of the ward, including by filing tax returns and paying any taxes owed, from the ward's estate and income and assets.