Guardianship & Conservatorships
Effectively Manage Your Loved One’s Affairs
Guardianship law requires knowledge about the intersection between law and medicine and an understanding about the balancing of personal rights versus the best interest of someone who is a minor or who has a serious illness. These cases can be complicated, especially when the incapacitated person needs antipsychotic medication (which is known as a Rogers guardianship) or other extraordinary medical treatment. Not all elder law or estate planning attorneys handle these cases.
A guardianship is required where:
- A person cannot make informed decisions
- About medical treatment or other personal matters (such as where to live)
- Due to being a minor or as a result of a medical condition (such as advanced dementia or traumatic brain injury, mental illness or developmental disability), and
- There is no health care proxy authorizing someone to make decisions on their behalf or the proxy is inadequate for some reason
Our attorneys will work with you to break down these complex cases to make them more manageable. We can help you organize the information required by the court, present the appropriate evidence to the Court, and provide you with the legal assistance you need so that you can effectively manage your loved one’s affairs.
Additional Steps a Guardian May Need to Take
Just being appointed as a guardian is not always legally enough to do what you need to do. Massachusetts laws will require you to go back to court and ask for an expansion of powers under special circumstances.
Guardians need to ask the Court for special permission to admit an incapacitated person to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility for longer than 60 days or to authorize a “do not resuscitate” order. Guardians also need to ask the Court for permission to become a “Rogers Monitor” with the authority to consent to the use of antipsychotic medication for treatment of an illness. The law imposes specific procedural requirements to protect the interests of the incapacitated person. Our attorneys are intimately familiar with the law and will help you obtain the power you need to do your job properly.
After the Guardianship is Awarded
While new laws have made the process more transparent and fairer to the incapacitated person, they have also increased the workload for the guardian. Once a guardianship is awarded, the guardian must file a Care Plan Report within 60 day of the appointment and annual reports thereafter documenting how the incapacitated person has done and what medical or other needs he may continue to have. Annual monitor’s reports and updated medical reports are also required where the Court has ordered antipsychotics to be administered to incapacitated person our attorneys can assist in preparing these reports and ensuring that the filing requirements are met so that you can focus on caring for your loved one.
If you live in Norwood, Westwood, Dedham, Canton, Walpole or the Greater Boston area, Fisher Law LLC can assist you in filing a guardianship or conservatorship case and help with the on-going responsibilities after appointment. Contact us for more information.