An incapacitated adult refers to someone who is clinically diagnosed with a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible for them to make decisions regarding their health, safety, or how they care for themselves in other regards. This can be due to Alzheimer’s or dementia, a developmental disability, mental health condition, brain injury, or some other type of impairment.
When someone needs a guardian, the Massachusetts court will declare a trusted individual as guardian. This gives that person the ability to make personal decisions for the incapacitated adult.
Some of the guardianship responsibilities and decisions can include:
- Where someone will live
- Medical treatments, medications, and doctor appointments for the adult
- Insurance and issues with benefits
- Paying expenses of the incapacitated adult with use of funds supplied to do so
A guardian can also go to court to have his or her decision making power expanded. The court can assist a guardian if there is need to admit an incapacitated adult to a nursing home or give authorization for medical treatments or the administering of medications. There are also options for limited guardianship where the incapacitated adult can still make some decisions. Temporary guardianship may also be sought if there has been an emergency.
The incapacitated adult has legal rights of which the guardian should be aware. That person has the right to his or her own attorney and the right to be present at any hearing regarding guardianship. The incapacitated adult also has the legal right to know a petition has been filed by someone seeking guardianship and he or she has the right to object to that petition.
Guardianship Filing Process
The quest for and process of filing for guardianship can be complicated and can also be an emotional journey for families or friends of an incapacitated adult. You need a legal advocate who understands and who can exhibit compassion towards you and the incapacitated adult involved. Shapiro Law Group, PC, can help you navigate the complexities, prepare for any challenges, and will help you understand what all may be expected by taking on the role of guardianship. Our attorneys will give your situation the time needed to pursue the best options. We will also be there as a source of ongoing legal support as new obstacles or challenges arise.