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How to Obtain a Guardianship in Massachusetts


Guardianships are a method of obtaining legal custody of, or decision-making authority over, another person. There are multiple types of guardianship actions. As your lawyers, we can help you seek guardianship of a minor, a disabled adult child, an elderly person or a mentally ill person.

We have more than 35 years of collective experience helping people in the Watertown area obtain all types of guardianships and conservatorships to care for loved ones who are not competent to care for themselves. Contact the Massachusetts law firm of Linda Sternberg, Esquire, for a consultation regarding your loved ones who are unable to make their own decisions on a temporary or permanent basis.

Helping You with Your Minor Child’s Legal Needs

We help grandparents, relatives, friends and stepparents obtain legal guardianship over children when the parents are absent, deceased or unable to care for their children for any reason. A guardian of a minor can obtain custody of that minor and have the legal authority to make most of the decisions a parent would make.

A guardianship of a minor can be for a limited time or until the child reaches 18. Unlike adoptions, guardianships do not terminate the parent-child relationship. A parent can consent to a guardianship without any finding of parental unfitness.

Caregiver Affidavit

A caregiver affidavit authorizes a parent or parents to appoint another person to make concurrent decisions with the father or mother regarding education and health care of the minor for a period of up to two years.

Adult or Elderly Person Guardianship

We help people obtain guardianship over siblings, elderly parents or friends who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, mental illness, or physical incapacity. Typically, a guardianship is necessary when the person has not nominated a health care agent or executed a durable power of attorney. If there are disagreements regarding placement or medical care, however, a guardianship may be needed even when an individual has nominated a health care agent or has designated an attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney.

Adult Child Guardianship

Once a child reaches the age of 18, he or she has the right to make decisions about health care and where to live, even if the child is not competent to do so. Parents may need to obtain a court-ordered guardianship of a developmentally disabled or mentally ill child after the child reaches the age of 18. A guardianship authorizes the parents to make placement and medical treatment decisions.

Rogers Guardianship

We also represent individuals in actions to become guardians in Rogers cases. A Rogers’ guardianship enables the guardian to obtain specific authority to make decisions for extraordinary medical treatment of an incapacitated person, including a minor if not in the custody of a parent. Extraordinary medical care can include invasive medical care, treatment with antipsychotic medication, and withholding life-sustaining treatment.

Contact Us for Information on Hiring a Probate Lawyer in Watertown

No matter what type of guardianship issue you face, we can assure you that your concerns will be heard, and we will work with you to achieve the best solution. To set up a consultation, contact the law office of Linda Sternberg, Esquire at 617-454-4705 or by email.