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Guardianship law

Rights of Wards

Even after a guardian is appointed, a ward in Wisconsin retains a host of rights that cannot be removed. This situation begs the question as to how someone who is considered to be unable to make responsible decisions could then properly exercise these rights. Nevertheless, a ward in Wisconsin retains the following rights, just to name a few: 


1. The right to have access to, communicate privately with, and retain legal counsel.


2. The right to a jury trial if contesting the guardianship. The ward must request a jury trial at least 48 hours before the time the hearing is scheduled. If not, the right is waived.


3. The right to an independent medical or psychological examination relevant to the reason why the guardianship was established. If the ward is not indigent, then the examination will be at his or her own expense. If the ward is indigent, then the county where the petition will be heard is required to pay for the cost of the examination.


4. The right to be present at any hearing about the guardianship.


5. The right to have the hearing in a location and manner that is

accessible to the ward.


6. The right to have access to and communicate privately with the court and governmental representatives.

And many more rights.

(for a complete list of rights, see the Guardianship Support Center, Rights of Wards, (2015); or refer to my paper, Adult Guardianships in Wisconsin.)

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