Guardianship of Adults & Minors Attorney in Salem, Massachusetts

One aspect of family law that is sometimes overlooked is that of guardianship. Guardianship can come in different forms, typically as that of a minor child or a disabled adult. Selecting a guardian to have the legal authority to handle important matters in the life of your child or incapacitated loved one is an important decision.

At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., we have decades of experience serving the needs of individuals and families throughout the greater Salem, Massachusetts area when they are in need of legal guidance regarding the establishment of guardianships and other complicated family law matters.

We proudly serve clients in Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, and Salem, Massachusetts. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Guardianships in Massachusetts

A guardianship is essentially a legal designation in which one person is appointed by the court to take care of and make decisions for another person. In the state of Massachusetts, there are guidelines in place with criteria that must be met in order for someone to qualify to be appointed as a guardian. Here is a basic overview of things that are or are not required in order for someone to be a guardian:

  • The potential guardian must be at least 18 years of age
  • The potential guardian must be a resident of the United States
  • The potential guardian must be ruled competent to serve in the role
  • The potential guardian does NOT necessarily have to be related to the respondent
  • It is possible for more than one guardian to be appointed

A petition for guardianship must be filed with the Family and Probate Court in the Massachusetts county in which the respondent resides. The respondent (the individual being taken care of by the guardian) may be a minor child or an incapacitated adult.

Guidance for Guardianships

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Guardianship of an Adult

A guardian can be appointed for an adult in situations where an individual at or over the age of 18 has a clinically diagnosed medical condition that results in the individual being unable to receive and process information in order to communicate or make decisions for themselves.

This is often seen in situations in which an elder family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, preventing them from being able to handle important decisions regarding their wellbeing, assets, or safety. Other instances in which a guardian may be appointed for an adult include an individual who has suffered a catastrophic injury that leaves them disabled or permanently impaired.

Guardianship of a Minor

A guardian is often appointed for a minor child if the child’s parents are legally declared to be either mentally unfit or incapable of caring for the child themselves. Someone wishing to be appointed as the guardian of a minor child must file a petition along with other documentation to the court in the county in which the child lives. The prospective guardian must be able to prove that they:

  • Can pass a criminal background check
  • Have had no involvement with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • Are fit to care for the child

If a guardian is appointed, it is not considered a permanent legal relationship. A parent or another individual can petition the court to have the guardian removed. When the minor child reaches the age of 18, they are no longer under guardianship.

How Skilled Guardianship Attorneys Can Help You

If you are seeking guardianship of an adult or a minor in the state of Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to work with experienced family law attorneys to make sure the process moves as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., we can guide you through the filing process and explain the options that are available to you. When you have knowledgeable attorneys by your side, you can have peace of mind and confidence that your legal matters are in capable hands.

Guardianship of Adults & Minors Attorneys Serving Salem, Massachusetts

For more than two decades, our dedicated team at Lamb and Lamb, P.C. has been serving the needs of individual clients and families in and around the greater Salem, Massachusetts area in a wide range of cases involving family law, bankruptcy, estate planning, and more. If you are in need of legal representation, call us today to schedule a free consultation.