Boston & Braintree Guardianship & Conservatorship Lawyer
Guardianship and Conservatorship may be needed to:
- Care for elderly people, and to protect them from financial predators. Sadly, many of our elderly are not able to care for themselves or protect themselves from those who may seek to prey upon them for financial gain. In some cases, the financial predators may be caretakers or other family members.
- Care for and make financial decisions for an adult disabled child. When a disabled child reaches the age of 18, a parent can no longer legally act on their child’s behalf unless they have been appointed as a guardian or conservator for their child.
- Make financial, medical and social welfare decisions for a person who is incapacitated. If a person becomes incapacitated through an accident or illness, it is important to seek guardianship or conservatorship as soon as possible in order to protect the incapacitated person’s interests. Such interests can include their interest as a plaintiff in litigation which may relate to the cause of their incapacitation
The Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorship
Guardians and Conservators serve in very different roles. The appointment of a guardian and/or conservator may be sought by filing a petition with the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court for a person who is mentally incompetent, is suffering from a mentally incapacitating condition (such as dementia); or is intellectually disabled.
A guardian is appointed to make medical decisions for an adult who is determined to be incapable of doing so on their own. If requested, the Court can empower the guardian to make additional decisions for the incapacitated person such as arranging for safe and suitable housing including nursing home care and administering anti-psychotic medications. Once appointed, a guardian may also contact the Social Security office nearest them and apply to be selected as the incapacitated person’s representative payee to receive and manage social security benefits.
A conservator is appointed to manage an incapacitated adult’s financial affairs, including accessing and managing all sources of income (which may include governmental benefits) and financial accounts and investments; and paying bills.
The appointment of a guardian or a conservator can also be sought for a minor who, because of their age and circumstances, needs the Court to appoint someone to care for and make decisions on their behalf.
Once a guardian and/or conservator has been appointed, the Court will continue to oversee the minor’s or incapacitated person’s care and finances by requiring the guardian and conservator to file regular reports with the Court.
Please call to me today to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.