Category Archives: Guardianship

Do I Need An Attorney To File For Guardianship?

I am often hired by people to help them file for guardianship over an aging parent or an adult child who is unable to care for themselves due to mental illness or intellectual disabilities. Sometimes when I am in the Court filing the papers, there are folks there who are filing for guardianship without an attorney. They get the forms from the clerks, they sometimes meet with the Attorney of the Day for help with the paperwork, and the clerks do their best to guide the people without being able to provide legal advice or extensive assistance. The people seeking guardianship obtain the medical certificates on their own, file the papers with the court, schedule the hearing date, make sure the necessary notices go out to the appropriate people, then show up for the hearing and talk to the judge on their own.

It’s completely possible to file a guardianship on your own, especially if it isn’t being contested by anyone. This works for people who like to do the footwork themselves, who have more time to do it or who don’t have the resources to hire an attorney for the entire process. Other people prefer to pay an attorney to do most of the work, and they just show up at the hearing. An in-between option is to hire an attorney for the limited purpose of assistance with the documents and education about the process but the attorney doesn’t file an appearance with the Court or go to the hearing.

I am always happy to work with families in whatever capacity they need to help them through the guardianship process – whether it is serving as an advisor on the sidelines or walking with them through the process every step of the way.

Limitations to Guardianships & Conservatorships

As part of the changes to the guardianship and conservatorship process in Massachusetts a few years ago, the courts have been moving away from full guardianship and conservatorship and towards limited ones. The idea is to protect the person in need, while still allowing them to retain rights as appropriate.  On the forms that are… Continue Reading

Responsibilities of a Guardian & Conservator

Have you thought about pursuing guardianship or conservatorship over an adult family member who you believe can no longer handle their affairs? A guardianship is a legal relationship created by a court between a guardian and her ward, usually an incapacitated adult. The guardian has a legal right and duty to care for the ward. … Continue Reading

Recording for How & Why to Avoid Guardianship and Conservatorship

I had the pleasure of speaking with Barbara Friesner, of AgeWiseLiving, on her AgeWise Living Radio Show about Why and How to Avoid Guardianship and Conservatorship (click to listen to the recording.)  You may want to turn the volume down on your computer before clicking the link to the show, since the audio starts right… Continue Reading

Guardianship – Authority and Responsibility of the Guardian

In general, the guardian has complete control over the financial, medical and personal decisions of the ward. This includes where the ward will live, how the ward’s money is spent, and making routine medical decisions for the ward. A ward has no more authority to make these decisions for themselves.  The guardian also has the… Continue Reading

Guardianship of An Aging Parent – the Process

Having to consider a guardianship over an aging parent is difficult, although sometimes necessary.  In most cases, if someone has a comprehensive durable power of attorney drafted and a health care proxy in place, that should do away with the need to pursue a guardianship. However, if the appriopriate documents have not been drafted, or… Continue Reading