Taking Care of Those Who Need It Most.

Guardianship and conservatorship can help you provide for someone who’s incapable of managing their affairs or personal health. The challenge lies in determining when your relative needs such assistance. Use these pointers to further your understanding of how a becoming a guardian or conservator might improve your loved one’s quality of life.


Probate Law Explained: Guardianship and Conservatorship

What are guardians and conservators? In Massachusetts, the Uniform Probate Code establishes distinct definitions of these roles.

If someone can’t attend to their legal interests, such as when they’re mentally or physically incapacitated, disabled or a minor, the law allows for appointment of a guardian, conservator or both. A conservator gains possession of the incapacitated person’s assets to manage their financial and legal affairs. Guardians, on the other hand, take custody of the person to ensure that they receive proper medical care and living assistance.


Who Needs a Guardian or Conservator?

Each state establishes different procedures for determining who’s eligible for placement into a guardianship or conservatorship, also known as becoming a ward. This process usually involves an interested party, like a relative, filing a petition with a court that then tasks social workers and medical professionals to examine the person in question.

The would-be ward requires an attorney to represent their rights. After the examining committee of professionals and the attorney meet with the individual, the judge assesses their findings to make the final decision on whether a guardian or conservator should be appointed.


Navigating the Guardianship and Conservatorship Process

Different parties can nominate someone as a guardian or conservator. For instance, you may be a spouse, parent or child who’s concerned about their loved one.

Your reasons for nominating someone may vary. In some cases, people want to continue providing for their family members after their own deaths or in case they also become incapacitated. Others want to manage their living relatives’ affairs on their behalf.

Each situation demands a distinct approach. Many of these situations can also be prevented, for instance granting someone the power of attorney allows them on your behalf and naming a health care proxy appoints allows someone to make decisions that relate to your medical welfare. The unique nuances of your case only make seeing an attorney for advice all the more valuable.

McLane & McLane is ideally suited to guide you through the process from start to finish. As compassionate legal advocates with a firm grasp of how the law functions, we can keep you informed about making sound decisions that secure your loved one’s well-being. Our experience with guardianship and conservatorship also lets us help you anticipate the financial and medical ramifications of different arrangements.

Whether you want to become a guardian or conservator, or appoint an impartial third-party, finding legal representation is in your loved one’s best interest. To learn more, visit us online.

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