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Guardianship is the legal process of appointing a decisionmaker for someone who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves due to disability or illness. In Wisconsin, a guardian can be appointed over a person or an estate (or both). The guardian of a person is empowered to help make significant life decisions, such as whether a person should continue to live at home or what medical care the person requires or should receive. The guardian of an estate is given the power to make financial decisions and manage the person's assets.

Many people pursue guardianship without an attorney because they believe it is a simple process; however, the guardianship process can be very complex. Guardianship can take away many of a person's fundamental rights, so courts have created a system with very detailed deadlines and procedures. Missing deadlines and not filling out the correct paperwork in the right way can lead to delays or the entire case being dismissed. Guardianships can even be objected to and lead to a jury trial.

We can help through every step of the process. First, we can help assess individual situations to see if guardianship can be avoided. If a person has the proper documents in place, a power of attorney may be able to help with decisions without ever getting the court involved. We can help petition for guardianship when it is the best option, and we can defend clients against an inappropriately filed guardianship petition.


Goyke, Tillisch & Martell, LLP, represents clients in all different roles in the guardianship process. Whether you need assistance petitioning for guardianship over a parent or are concerned about an inappropriately filed guardianship, our elder law attorneys are here to provide expert guidance. Call (715) 849-8100 today or email our team to set up an appointment.