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Helping People Age with Dignity

Requesting to be a loved one's guardian

When a person has an elderly loved one who has become incapacitated to the point where they cannot make health care decisions, they may be very concerned about their loved one's health and welfare. They may desire to be given the authority to make their loved one's health care decisions so they can protect their loved one's welfare. A question an individual with such a desire may have is: can I request to be named my loved one's guardian?

Here in Massachusetts, a person can start the process of requesting to be appointed the guardian of an incapacitated individual by filing a Petition for Guardianship. The state does not put many restrictions on who can file such a petition. To file such a petition, a person simply needs to have an interest in the incapacitated person's welfare.

Of course, just because a person is eligible to ask to be named the guardian of an incapacitated loved one does not necessarily mean that, if they make such a request, their request will be granted. When a guardianship is requested for an incapacitated individual, it will ultimately be up to the court to decide whether a guardianship will be established and, if it will be, who will be appointed guardian. There are a variety of different things that could influence a court's decision in a guardianship case.

Individuals who are thinking about requesting to be named guardian of an incapacitated loved one may want to seek out legal advice on the matter. Attorneys can provide such individuals with information on the process of requesting appointment as a guardian, can help them with this process and can provide them with legal support during guardianship proceedings.

Sources: Massachusetts Court System, "What Forms Do I File for Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person?," Accessed March 24, 2015

Massachusetts Court System, "Who May Become a Guardian of an Incapacitated Person?," Accessed March 24, 2015

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