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Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

Learn how to ask for temporary legal guardianship of an incapacitated adult while the court decides if the incapacitated adult should have a permanent guardian.

Probate and Family Court locations

The Details of Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

What you need for Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

A temporary guardian may be appointed if it’s likely that there will be immediate and substantial harm to the incapacitated person’s health, safety, or welfare. The person asking to be named guardian is called the petitioner, and the person believed to be incapacitated is called the respondent. A temporary guardianship generally lasts for less than 90 days. Temporary guardianship powers may be limited. The court will specifically order the temporary guardian’s responsibilities. A temporary guardian will go back to court to extend the temporary guardianship until the guardianship becomes permanent.

To request a temporary guardian, you'll need to file these forms:

  • Temporary Bond, which must be approved by the court
  • Court Activity Record Information (CARI) for the person asking to become a guardian. CARIs include Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), juvenile records, and information about civil restraining orders.
  • A verified Motion for Appointment of a Temporary Guardian (MPC 320). The motion must include:
    • The emergency
    • The risk
    • What authority is required
    • Why you’re asking for the period for giving notice to be waived or shortened, if applicable

You should also include information about whether the incapacitated person has completed a Health Care Proxy and/or a Durable Power of Attorney with the motion. If an incapacitated person has a Health Care Proxy and a Durable Power of Attorney and no one disagrees about care plans, you might not need a guardianship.

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How to request Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

On the day of the first guardianship hearing, the person asking to be named guardian may request a temporary guardian by filing the  forms listed above in person. You should file at the Probate and Family Court in the county where:

  • The incapacitated person lives when the petition is filed or
  • A will nominating the guardian was or could be probated or
  • The incapacitated person is admitted to a facility under a court order

Next steps for Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

Give notice

If the request for a temporary guardian is approved, you must serve the Notice of Appointment of Temporary Guardian on the incapacitated person and all interested parties within 7 days from when you were appointed. Although notice is required, the court may shorten or waive this requirement if there's an immediate emergency situation.

More info for Request temporary guardianship of an incapacitated person

An temporary guardianship generally lasts for less than 90 days. After that, the court may extend the temporary guardianship for additional 90 day periods or the guardianship may become permanent. Assigning a temporary guardian isn't a final decision of whether the respondent is incapacitated, and a temporary guardian can only use specific powers they were given in the order. 

A guardian can’t admit an incapacitated person to a nursing facility without a specific court order unless it is for 60 days or less. The court has to determine that admitting the person would be in their best interest.

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