All About Conservatorships/Guardianships

Frequently Asked Questions

At some point, many people need assistance managing their affairs due to physical or mental incapacity. In such situations, it may be helpful to establish a conservatorship or guardianship. A guardianship is when a person is appointed to manage the affairs of a minor, while a conservatorship involves a person who is appointed to manage the affairs of an adult who has become incapable of doing so. This page will discuss what a conservatorship/guardianship is, when it is needed, who can serve as a guardian/conservator, benefits, and how to set up and maintain a conservatorship/guardianship, among other things.

What is a Conservatorship/Guardianship and When is it Needed?

A conservatorship/guardianship refers to a legal relationship between two parties, one being a person who needs assistance managing their affairs (ward), and the other being a person appointed to manage those affairs (conservator/guardian). In most cases, conservatorships/guardianships are established when individuals are mentally incapacitated, elderly, disabled, or ill and can no longer make important life decisions on their own. This legal arrangement allows for managing their finances, health, and other aspects of life.

Who Can Serve as a Guardian or Conservator

Under Massachusetts law, any interested party can become a guardian or conservator, provided they are over the age of 18 and have no legal issues that would prevent them from being appointed. Other considerations include the relationship with the ward and whether the prospective guardian/conservator has the time and ability to effectively manage the ward’s affairs.

Benefits of Establishing a Conservatorship/Guardianship

Establishing a conservatorship/guardianship can provide a sense of security and ensure that the ward’s affairs are managed appropriately. It also takes the burden and responsibility off family members or loved ones who may not have the requisite skills to manage these affairs.

The Responsibilities of Being a Guardian or Conservator

Being a conservator/guardian is often a significant responsibility that involves managing financial and healthcare decisions on behalf of the ward. This role requires making ethical and practical decisions related to the ward’s well-being and requires constant communication with the ward and other interested parties.

Setting Up a Conservatorship/Guardianship

To establish a conservatorship/guardianship in Massachusetts, you need to follow a legal process that involves filing a petition with the Probate and Family Court. The process involves appointing an attorney to represent the ward, obtaining medical documentation for the court, and giving an inventory of assets. The court then evaluates the proposed guardian/conservator and determines the appropriate action.

Challenges in Establishing and Maintaining a Conservatorship/Guardianship

Establishing and maintaining a conservatorship/guardianship can be challenging and complex, as it involves legal and ethical issues. There may also be challenging communication dynamics among family members, the ward, and the appointed guardian/conservator. It is essential to have a Massachusetts attorney to guide you through this process to ensure that it is done correctly.

Common Questions About Conservatorships/Guardianships

Some common questions related to conservatorships/guardianships include how to terminate or modify conservatorships/guardianships when a ward improves and the requirements for becoming a conservator/guardian.

Final Thoughts on Understanding the Process of Establishing a Guardianship or Conservatorship

Establishing and maintaining a conservatorship/guardianship requires patience and a thorough understanding of the legal process. It is essential to seek help from a qualified Massachusetts attorney to ensure they follow the legal process appropriately.

At our Massachusetts law firm, we have years of experience dealing with conservatorships/guardianships, business formation, and other family law matters. We provide our clients with comprehensive legal representation throughout Eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and other areas. If you’re considering establishing a conservatorship/guardianship, contact us today.

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From my initial phone call and talk with Atty Daigle, to working with Ann Marie and Tracey, my experience with Daigle Law Office has been great. They walked me through everything and got me started back on the right track. I would highly recommend Daigle Law Office for those seeking to get themselves back on track financially.
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