Guardianships

A guardian is a person who is appointed by the Probate and Family Court to manage the personal affairs of another person, who is referred to as the “protected person.”  The decisions made by the guardian for the protected person are not primarily financial ones, but personal-choice decisions, like where to live and what medical treatment to receive. With Massachusetts’ recent adoption of the Uniform Probate Code, it is now much more difficult to be declared a guardian, and the court will only grant a guardian authority to make certain kinds of decisions (rather than every decision) if it finds that the protected person is not capable of making that type of decision on his own. Courts look to limit the protected person’s liberty as little as possible.  In Rhode Island, which has not adopted the UPC, obtaining a guardianship is easier.

Going to court for a guardianship is expensive.  You can avoid the need and expense for your loved ones of seeking a a court-appointed guardianship if you execute a healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney before you became incapacitated.  If you did not, for whatever reasons, your family will have no choice but to go to court.  At Deschene Law Office, we will guide you through the court process, and handle all the steps necessary to get a guardianship for your loved one.  After you are appointed guardian, you must report back to the court annually, and we can help you meet that ongoing obligation.