Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

After filing a petition for appointment of guardian for "an individual alleged to be incapacitated", the proposed ward or ward has a right to appointed counsel to advocate for the expressed wishes of the ward if the proposed ward or ward requests counsel, the court is notified by the guardian or another person that the proposed ward or ward is opposed to the guardianship petition, or the court determines that the interests of justice require counsel for the proposed ward or ward. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 54.42(1).


A ward or their guardian may petition to review a determination of incompetency, to have the guardian discharged and a new guardian appointed, or to have the guardianship limited or specific rights restored. For these proceedings, the ward has a right to counsel and may retain and contract for the payment of counsel, subject to the court's approval. If the ward is unable to obtain counsel, the court shall appoint legal counsel. If the ward is indigent, the county of jurisdiction for the guardianship shall provide counsel at the county's expense. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 54.64(2)(4)(b).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes