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.
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.
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.
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.
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.