Massachusetts law about guardianship and conservatorship

A compilation of laws, cases, and web sources on guardianship and conservatorship law.

Table of Contents

Best bet

Guardianship, Mass. Trial Court
The information in this section helps you understand the legal process of guardianship, the role of a guardian, and the required forms when you file for guardianship.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.190B, Article V. Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property
A complete overhaul of Mass. law, the Uniform Probate Code's provisions strive to enhance protection for the individuals' civil rights and autonomy.

MGL c.190B, Article 5A, as added by St.2014, c.225. Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction. 
Provides a procedure for situations in which a caregiver lives in another state, or when the person involved lives in more than 1 state.

Selected cases

Guardianship of K.N., 476 Mass. 762 (2017) 
The SJC held that, exercising equitable powers, a probate and family court judge could use sound discretion to appoint counsel for an indigent guardian in a removal contest under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, G.L.c. 190B, §5-212.

Guardianship of Kelvin, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 448 (2018)
Explains the burden of proof in a petition to remove a guardian. The "mother had the initial burden... of producing some credible evidence of changed circumstances since the initial guardianship determination...  Once the mother satisfied this burden of production, the guardian then bore the ultimate burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the mother remained unfit and that continuation of the guardianship served Kelvin's best interest."

Guardianship of V.V., 470 Mass. 590 (2015)
A "parent whose minor child is the subject of a guardianship proceeding pursuant to G. L. c. 190B, § 5-206, and who cannot afford counsel has a right to have counsel appointed and to be so informed."

L.B. v. Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Dept., 474 Mass. 231 (2016)
"When an indigent parent who is not represented by counsel seeks... to remove a guardian who has been appointed for a minor child,...the parent has a due process right to counsel to prosecute such a petition, and to be informed of this right, provided the parent presents a meritorious claim for removal...similarly, ... an indigent parent who petitions to modify the terms of a guardianship by seeking a substantial change in the provisions for visitation is entitled as a matter of due process to counsel, and to be informed of this right, provided the parent presents a meritorious claim."

Web sources

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: December 3, 2018

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