I assist clients with obtaining guardianships in the Probate Court in the unfortunate circumstance where an individual becomes mentally incompetent and has not appointed someone under a health care proxy to make his or her health care decisions. It is also sometimes necessary to obtain a guardianship when someone does have a valid health care proxy in place, but he or she refuses to be admitted to a nursing home or refuses to take his or her medication. In these instances, it may be necessary to petition the court to have a guardian appointed and to request specific authority to admit the incapacitated person to a nursing home or to obtain Roger’s authority to allow the individual’s doctor to administer antipsychotic medications.
It is important to be aware that a guardianship may not be necessary if the individual still has sufficient capacity to understand the ramifications of signing legal documents, such as a health care proxy. This is something we can determine after meeting with the individual and discussions with his or her doctor, if necessary.