Guardianship / Conservatorship

This Family Service Agency program provides help for those who, because of mental or physical illness or disability, cannot care for themselves. There are two ways that we provide help—through Guardianship and Conservatorship. These designations are explained below.


Our agency can act as a guardian for a person who is impaired by reason of physical illness or disability, mental deficiency, or other clear cause, to the extent that the person lacks sufficient understanding of capacity to make or communicate reasonable decisions concerning his or her person. The guardian is given authority by order of the Probate Court.

A guardian can have full authority or limited authority depending on the person’s capacity.


We can act as a conservator, which is appointed by Probate Court for in individual who can no longer handle his or her own finances. The conservator has control over all or part of the individual’s income, savings, and property. A conservator also has the responsibility to spend and invest the money for the benefit of the individual. An initial inventory of the known property of the estate is filed with the court. As the conservator, we file an accounting of all the financial transactions of the estate to the court once per year, or more often if the court directs. Accountings show all the income, expenses and property remaining in the possession of the conservator.

Photo of papers being signed

Note: The difference between Guardianships and Representative Payee is that Representative Payees only handle a client’s social security or supplemental security income benefits; they are appointed to the case by Social Security. A Conservator handles other benefits like pension checks, house, bank accounts, CDs, stocks/bonds, etc. and is appointed through Probate Court.

This program and/or service is funded in whole or part by Genesee County Senior Millage Funds – your tax dollars are at work!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge?

We have a contract through Department of Human Service that allows them to make a referral to us and there is no charge to the ward. You can reach them at 810-767-2202. We also have a contract through the Senior Millage for wards 60 years and older that is also free to the ward. Our private pay fee is $200 per month.

What do I need to do to have your agency appointed Guardian / Conservator?

You can call the office and see if we have any slots available. If we are available a referral can be made at that time. We typically have a 3-6 month waitlist.

Is there a separate fee for Guardianship and Conservatorship?

No; the fee applies to one or both services.

How do I petition for a Guardian / Conservator?

A packet may be picked up at the Probate Court office. Once the packet is filled out you file it at Probate Court and pay the current fee of $175 for each petition. A separate petition needs to be done for Guardianship and Conservatorship. A doctor’s statement is also required to be filed with the petition stating the individual needs to have a Guardian/Conservator.

Get in Touch


Guardianship / Representative Staff

Hannah Sanderson

Guardianship Caseworker

EmailPhone Ext: 414

Violet Couture, NCG, RSST

Assistant Director

EmailPhone Ext: 413

Barb McCarius

Representative Payee

EmailPhone Ext: 400

Debra Crites

Representative Payee

EmailPhone Ext: 405

Terry Brown, RSST

Guardian Accountant

EmailPhone Ext: 418

Mary Marcot, RSST

Guardianship Caseworker

EmailPhone Ext: 424

Gabrielle Burns

Payee Representative

EmailPhone Ext: 414

The FSA is a United Way Partner
The FSA is a member of the Alliance for Children and Families
The FSA is a member of the Michigan Guardianship Association