The Probate Court oversees thousands of guardianship cases. These involve children and adults who are unable to care for themselves (“wards”) and the people appointed by the Court to manage wards’ care (“guardians”). Independent of guardians’ obligation to report to the Court on the health, wellbeing, and needs of their ward, the Court is required by law to conduct regular independent investigations of the welfare of wards for certain types of guardianships. The Court may review any type guardianship in its discretion.
As part of the review process, the Court appoints volunteers as investigators to gather information from different sources and prepare a written report. A copy of the order appointing the investigator is sent to the guardian(s) along with general information concerning the process. The investigator examines the information in the court file, speaks or meets with the guardian and other relevant people, meets the ward where he or she lives, and then completes a report for submission to the Court. A copy of the report is mailed to the guardian.
Investigators undergo a background check and training. They must be 18 or older with ready access to transportation throughout the County. An investigation may take three to eight hours and is generally expected to be completed within 28 days of their appointment.
For information about the investigation process or to inquire about volunteering, please contact Erica Goethel via email or call her at 734-222-3098.