EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009, ALL FORMS HAVE BEEN CHANGED, PLEASE
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Guardianship - Person and Estate (Mental Illness, Mental Retardation, Physical Incapacity or Illness)
A guardian is a fiduciary appointed by the court to care
for the person, property, or both, of another person unable to care for him/herself who is known as the ward. The Probate and Family Court has the power to appoint guardians of persons unable to care for themselves due to their age,
physical or mental condition, or because they are spendthrifts. An individual may petition the Court to be appointed a guardian, or the Court itself may nominate a person to serve as a guardian.
A guardian ad litem
is a special guardian appointed by the Court to represent the interests of an individual for a specific matter. A guardian ad litem appointment is not related to a guardianship but is a
separate and distinct appointment authority defined by the statutes.
Temporary Guardianship - Person and Estate (Mental Illness, Mental Retardation, Physical Incapacity or Illness)
Upon petition the Court may, with or without notice, appoint a temporary guardian if it finds that the welfare of a mentally ill or mentally retarded person, or a person unable to communicate informed decisions due to physical
incapacity or illness, or a spendthrift requires immediate protection. The Court may remove or discharge the guardian.
Guardianship of Minor Child (ren)
A minor is a person under the age of eighteen years. A guardian of a minor is an individual appointed by the court who has legal custody of the person or property or both of an individual under the age of eighteen. The
Probate and Family Court, the Juvenile Court, and the District Court have the power to appoint guardians for minors.
The Court may nominate the guardian if a minor is under the age of fourteen. A minor aged fourteen or older may, before a justice of the peace, notary public, or municipal clerk, nominate the guardian on the petition.
The Court, after notice to or assent of the parents, will conduct a hearing and appoint a guardian.
The guardian must prepare and submit to the Court an annual inventory and accounting of the minor's assets.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends can file for
guardianship of a minor. The Petition must be filed in the County where the
child is living.
Sometimes it is necessary to file for Emergency Temporary Guardianship when there is an emergency. Once you file all your papers
with the Court, you will go before the
Court that day.
The Court may give you a
Temporary Order for Guardianship.
This Temporary Order is only
good for 30, 60 or 90 days.
With your Temporary Order of
Guardianship, you will also receive
instructions on what you MUST do
before getting Permanent Guardianship.
All parties need to be notified
that you have Temporary Guardianship.
If this is
not an emergency and you are looking to file for Guardianship of a Minor Child, after you file all papers with the Court, a notice needs to
be given to other parties.
The other parties are generally
the biological mother and father of the child (ren), or any other party that the child (ren) are living with at the time you file your Guardianship petition. If no
objections have been filed, you may
present your petition to the Court
after the return day.
A conservator is a person appointed by the Court to manage the property, subject to the direction of the Court, of an individual who is unable to properly manage his or her affairs. Persons whose property is subject to
conservatorship are generally those persons for whom guardians may be appointed
The conservator must prepare and submit to the Court an annual inventory and accounting of the minor's assets.
The Court may, upon petition for permanent conservatorship and motion for temporary conservatorship, appoint a temporary conservator for a person of mental weakness or physical incapacity, to care for the ward's property until the
appointment of a permanent conservator or the termination of the trust.
A proxy guardianship is a petition that, after allowance by the Court,
permits a parent to name a "standby" or emergency guardian to serve
as a child's guardian in the event of that parent's incapacitation and
inability to care for that child.