Who Can Be a Guardian
Serving as a guardian in Massachusetts is a serious and important undertaking. If you are considering serving as a guardian, below you can find more detailed information about on who can be a guardian, the role of a guardian, and how to become a guardian in Massachusetts. You can see here for more general information about guardianship in Massachusetts or the standards for appointment and duties of guardians in Massachusetts.
Because guardianship is a legal process that grants people authority to care for and make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated adult or minor child, the courts take the responsibility of appointing a guardian seriously. Anyone serving as a guardian of an incapacitated person in Massachusetts must demonstrate that she has a mental condition which limits her ability to make sound decisions or communicate clearly.Who Qualifies to be Appointed as a Guardian in Massachusetts?
In order to qualify to serve as a guardian, you must be appointed by the Probate and Family Court. Although a family relationship is a factor the court will consider, it is not the only consideration in many cases. For example, you don’t automatically qualify to be the guardian of an incapacitated adult because you are their mother or father. You also might serve as co-guardians with another person, subject to both people being approved by the court.
You must, however, live in the United States, be at least eighteen years old to be appointed as a guardian, and be competent to make the care decisions required of you to be appointed. For a guardianship of a minor, you will undergo a criminal background check. The primary goal is to determine whether you have a history with the Department of Children and Families that the court believes should disqualify you from serving as a guardian.Who Does not Qualify to be Appointed as a Guardian in Massachusetts?
The court will not let you serve as a guardian in Massachusetts if you fall into any of these three categories. First, if you are currently under investigation by DCF, you will not be permitted to serve as a guardian. Second, you will not be allowed to serve as a guardian in Massachusetts if there are charges pending against you for committing an assault and battery that caused serious injury to the incapacitated person. Finally, you will not be permitted to be appointed if you are currently under investigation for neglect of the incapacitated person you want to serve.
If you have any questions about being appointed as a guardian in Massachusetts, call our office and speak with one of our family lawyers today.