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Becoming a legal guardian to an incapacitated person

When a person is disabled or has been diagnosed with an illness which means they will be eventually unable to make their own decisions, they often think about the need for a guardianship. A guardianship involves a person appointing another adult that can make legal and important decisions on their behalf when they are unable to.

People often assigned guardianship because they recognize that at some point, when their illness or disability progresses, they will not have the mental competence to make legal decisions such as the management of real estate.

Appointing a guardian

It is common for a person to appoint a guardian when they are first diagnosed with a terminal illness or a chronic disability. For example, if a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, they may not know when they will deteriorate to the point that they can no longer make informed decisions about important financial and legal matters. They will likely appoint a person that they know and trust who is not invested in their financial situation.

What powers does an appointed guardian have?

An appointed guardian's powers depend on the legal agreement that is made. The powers granted often include the ability to make medical and financial decisions for the person in question, as well as the responsibility of ensuring that the medical care given to the incapacitated party is adequate. They may also have to responsibility to provide the courts with information about the affected person's health condition.

If you have a deteriorating medical condition and are considering appointing a guardian in Massachusetts, it is important that you conduct research to ensure that you are making the best possible decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Persons," accessed May 04, 2018

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