If a person is incapacitated and unable to make medical and financial decisions for themselves, the first thing we look at is whether he or she has a Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney. If so, then those documents control as to who is in charge on making medical and financial decisions for the incapacitated person. If however such documents do not exist, then the Probate court needs to appoint a Guardian to make medical decisions for the individual and a Conservator to make financial decisions for the person. Below is a brief discussion related to Guardianships and Conservatorships in Massachusetts based upon materials provided by the Massachusetts Probate Courts online.
The Probate and Family Court may appoint a guardian to make some or all decisions for an incapacitated person. The person asking to be named guardian is called the petitioner, and the person believed to be incapacitated is called the respondent.
• Petition for Appointment of Guardian for an Incapacitated Person
• Medial Certificate
• You may need the following: Clinical Team Report, Findings and Treatment Plan for Rogers Authority of antipsychotic medications are to be administered
• Everyone named in the Petition
• The US Veteran’s Administration
• The Department of Developmental Services if the responded is intellectually disabled
• A Guardian’s Care Plan / Report is due within 60 days of being appointed
A temporary guardian may be appointed if it’s likely that there will be immediate and substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the incapacitated person. The person asking to be named guardian is called the petitioner, and the person believed to be incapacitated is called the respondent. An appointment of a temporary guardian generally lasts for no more than 90 days. Temporary guardianship powers may be limited. The authority of a temporary guardian will be specifically ordered by the court. A temporary guardian will continue to receive future court dates to continue the temporary guardianship until the guardianship becomes permanent.
• Motion for Temporary Guardian
• Temporary Bond
• Court Activity Record Information of Petitioner and Criminal Records Information
• Notice of Appointment of Temporary Guardian needs to be given to all interested parties and the responded within 7 days of the appointment
A Conservator is a fiduciary responsible for managing the property of the protected person as authorized by the court. The Court encourages the protected person to participate in decisions and act on their own behalf when possible. There are annual reports that need to be filed with the court that details the income and expenses distributed on behalf of the protected person.