1. Completing the
Petition for Guardianship (MPC 120) is the first step in seeking the Court’s appointment as a guardian, or to request the Court appoint another as guardian of a person.
Questions to Consider:
Are you requesting plenary (full) or limited powers? Limits may include having the individual retain the right to vote, the right to decide where to live, etc. Limited powers are preferred.
- If Plenary, you must check box as to why limited powers are not appropriate.
- If Limited, you must include Exhibit which lists proposed Limitations to Powers
2. A Medical Certificate (MPC 400) must be completed for all persons for whom a guardianship is sought, and provided to the Court.
The Medical Certificate is to be completed and signed by a registered physician OR a licensed psychologist OR a certified psychiatric nurse clinical specialist.
The examination of the person to be placed under guardianship must have occurred within 30 days of the date the Petition is filed.
3. A Clinical Team Report (MPC 402) must be completed for all intellectually disabled persons.
The examination of the person to be placed under guardianship must have occurred within 180 days of the date the Petition is filed.
The Clinical Team Report must be completed by a physician, a licensed psychologist and a social worker, each of whom is experienced in the evaluation of an intellectually disabled person.
4. Citation and Notice
Notice must be given in hand, by a disinterested person, to the person alleged to be incapacitated.
Notice must be given to all interested parties by regular, first class mail.
If an interested person is of parts unknown, the Court will provide instructions for publication of a notice in a newspaper selected by the Court.
If the Petitioner is eligible, a fee waiver may be granted by the Court to cover the cost of publication in a Massachusetts newspaper.
If you are the proposed guardian, you must prepare and file a Bond for temporary and for permanent guardianship. This indicates that you agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court which is issuing the Letters of Appointment as guardian. You may request that the Bond be without sureties, with personal sureties, or with the support of a corporate surety Bond. Most often, in guardianship matters, the surety is waived.
The Bond must contain the estimated value of the real estate and of the personal estate belonging to the alleged incapacitated person.
The guardian is not personally liable for the Respondent’s expenses.
The guardian may become the representative payee and collect the Respondent’s benefits from the Social Security Administration.
The guardian can gather information about the assets and income of the person alleged to be incapacitated but will not have authority to spend or distribute those funds.
Special Requirements for Treatment of Mentally Ill with Certain Medications
Respondents with mental illness are sometimes treated with antipsychotic medications.
Treatment with antipsychotic medications requires special court authority.
Note: If “Extraordinary” authority is sought, or if the person alleged to be incapacitated is expected to be treated with antipsychotic medications, this is known as having Rogers Authority (named after a court case that determined the rules), and a lawyer will be appointed regardless of whether or not that appointment is requested.
If Extraordinary Authority or Rogers Authority is requested:
- A lawyer will be appointed by the Court.
- Findings and a Treatment Plan must be submitted for approval by the Court.
- An annual review date will be included in the Decree.
Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons
- Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons
- Who is Considered an Incapacitated Person?
- Who May Become a Guardian of an Incapacitated Person?
- What Does a Guardian of an Incapacitated Person Do?
- Where Do I File for Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person and What is the Fee?
- What Forms Do I File for Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person?
- Requesting Temporary Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
- Permanent Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
- Reporting On, Changing or Ending Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
- Getting Help with Filing for Guardianship
- More Information on Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons