Court Appointed Guardianships
A very specific court appointment that requires a court hearing and two proofs to the court of incompetency, meaning they are unable to make or give informed consent. Two different types of Guardianship – II – Legally Incapacitated Individual and DD, a Developmentally Disabled individual. Different laws determine which type is sought. Duties are about the same – make medical decisions, decide where they will live, attend to any legal matters, obtain entitlements for them – like Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, Disability payments and Community Mental Health services.
Court Appointed Conservatorships or Guardian of the Estate
Also, a very specific court appointment that might or might not include Social Security income. In these matters the person is usually unable (incompetent) to manage finances or they may be seeking relief from the details or physical task of writing checks, mailing payments on time. In some cases, they are being financially exploited. Conservatorships are typically for individuals who have assests beyond social security income. Sometimes a minor receives income from insurance, inheritance, or personal injury settlement and may need a conservator to manage these assests. Duties of a Conservator include finding assets, reporting the assets to the court in the form of an inventory, handling the assets, and a yearly accounting to the court, the protected person, and to the family/Attorney General.
Social Security or Veterans Administration Representative Payee
This service is rendered when an individual only has a monthly benefit payment from Social Security. Social Security or the VA requests our services because we are designated as an Organizational Representative Payee. We are permitted to charge a fee for services. Family members or others who serve in this capacity are not allowed to charge for their services. Both the VA and Social Security require annual reports. Social Security audits our books every two years. Duties include setting up an individual bank account with direct deposit, setting up a budget with the client, obtaining and then paying bills, conserving funds each month, and supplying personal spending money.
Special Needs Discretionary Trusts
Guardianship Services acts as Trustee for these specialized trusts sometimes called Medicaid Payback Trusts. A person with a disability receives income, usually from a Social Security lump payout, an insurance policy, an inheritance or lawsuit. The money in the trust can be used to enhance their lives, but it cannot be used for food or shelter. When the person dies, any money left in the trust is owed first to the State of Michigan. The amount owed is based upon the amount of Medicaid dollars the person used while the trust was in place. The trust beneficiary must be under the age of 65.