For those clients who are concerned about access to an older loved one in the care of another relative, the Estates and Protected Individuals Code has provided a new tool. EPIC has been amended to allow the probate court to appoint a limited guardian to ensure access to an incapacitated individual. MCL 700.5306(6) provides, effective March 10, 2020, that if the following points are proven by clear and convincing evidence, the court may appoint a limited guardian to supervise visitation with the incapacitated person:
- The individual is incapacitated.
- The person who has the care and custody of the incapacitated individual denied another person access to the incapacitated individual.
- The incapacitated individual wants contact with the other person, or contact with the other person is in the incapacitated individual’s best interests.
While EPIC already grants the probate court authority to appoint a guardian to “provid[e] continuing care and supervision,” MCL 700.5306(1), which arguably would serve to protect access to an incapacitated person, this new provision leaves no question about possible remedies for isolating an incapacitated adult.