Wisconsin

Guardianship Laws

Adult Guardianship Statute: 

Wis. Stat. 54.01 to .988; 55.01 to .23

Right to Counsel in Statute: Initial Guardianship Proceedings: 
Yes, Conditional
Right to Counsel in Statute: Post-Appointment Guardianship Proceedings: 
Yes, Conditional
Right to Counsel Statututory Citation: 

Wis. Stat. 54.01 to .988; 55.01 to .23

Right to Counsel Definition in Statute: 

The proposed ward or ward has the right to counsel, if any of the following occurs: 1) The proposed ward or ward requests counsel; 2) the GAL or another person states to the court that the proposed ward or ward is opposed to the guardianship petition; 3) the court determines that the interests of justice require counsel for the proposed ward or ward.

Advocacy Role of Counsel Defined in Statute: 
Yes
Advocacy Role of Counsel Definition in Statute: 

Any attorney obtained or appointed pursuant to this section "shall be an advocate for the expressed wishes of the proposed ward or ward."

Professional Rules &/or Ethics Opinions: 

WRPC Rule 1.14 (a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client. (b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian

Case Law Discussing Role of Counsel: 

The involvement of a GAL does not diminish the adversary counsel’s duty to provide his client with zealous, competent and independent representation. In the Matter of the Guardianship of Jennifer M., 799 N.W.2d 436 (Wis. 2009).

Discuss Guardianship or Supported Decision-Making?: 
No