Mass. General Laws c.190B § 1-404

Guardian ad litem and next friend

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law.

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Section 1-404

(a) If, in a formal proceeding involving trusts or estates of decedents, minors, protected persons or incapacitated persons and in judicially supervised settlements, or otherwise, a minor, a protected person, an incapacitated person or a person not ascertained or not in being may be or may become interested in any property, real or personal or, in the enforcement or defense of any legal rights, the court in which any action, petition or proceeding of any kind relative to or affecting any such estate or legal rights is pending may, upon the representation of any party thereto or of any person interested, appoint a suitable person to appear and act therein as guardian ad litem or next friend of such minor, protected person, incapacitated person or person not ascertained or not in being. A judgment, order or decree issued as a result of such proceedings, following an appointment made under this subsection, shall be conclusive upon all persons for whom a guardian ad litem or next friend was appointed.

(b) The reasonable expenses of such guardian ad litem or next friend, including compensation and counsel fees, shall be determined by the court and paid as it may order, either out of the estate or by the plaintiff, petitioner or the commonwealth. If such expenses are to be paid by the plaintiff or petitioner execution therefor may issue in the name of the guardian ad litem or next friend.

(c) Nothing in this code shall affect the power of a court to appoint a guardian or conservator to defend the interests of a minor impleaded in such court, or interested in a suit or matter there pending, nor the power of such court to appoint or allow a person, as next friend for a minor, to commence, prosecute or defend a suit in his behalf.

(d) If it appears in a probate or appointment proceeding that a spouse, heir at law or devisee is an incapacitated or protected person or a minor, notice of all proceedings shall be given to the incapacitated or protected person or minor and to his guardian or conservator. Unless the spouse, heir or devisee is under conservatorship or, if not under conservatorship, is under guardianship by someone other than the petitioner or is represented by someone other than the petitioner, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem who shall be provided notice of all proceedings.

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