guardianship

While some people feel threatened by another person taking responsibility for them in a guardianship, this legal procedure helps countless people in a wide variety of ways in Massachusetts. Our guardianship attorneys can help guide you through this process. Guardianship is not to be confused with conservatorship (primarily for finances) or power of attorney. It is intended to help people who are incapacitated, such as:
  • Children
  • Adults with disabilities
  • Elderly persons
  • People with drug, spending or other addictions
Someone unable to make prudent financial decisions or decisions about physical care, medical care or support, benefit entitlements and other matters may need a guardian appointed by a court. A guardianship can order physical custody of a child (or adult, when needed) to a guardian. Someone receiving benefits may need a guardian to handle the benefits wisely.

As opposed to a power of attorney, which is designated by the individual in need, a guardianship is appointed by a court. The guardian may be a parent, an adult child, a sibling or other family member, a care institution or friend. Being appointed these powers brings a heavy responsibility and certain fiduciary duties.

The Process
The legal process is simple unless the person alleged to be incapacitated objects. Then experts such as psychiatrists and other doctors may be needed to provide evidence of incapacity and need for the guardianship.

Massachusetts courts require periodic reports on the financial and physical well-being of the ward, and there are legal limitations on what a guardian can do. These measures protect the ward.

Contact Kurland & Grossman, P.C., for further information. We look forward to listening to you and answering questions you may have. We can help you establish a guardianship for another or even yourself if you need one. We can also attempt to alter an existing guardianship.