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Guardianship Attorneys in Rhode Island

When an adult is judged by the Probate Court to be incapable of making informed decisions about health care, residence, finances or association, a guardian will be appointed unless there are less restrictive measures that have been or can be put in place. Incapacity or impairment of an individual is assessed by healthcare providers and documented in a form called the Decision Making Assessment Tool (DMAT). The DMAT and a Petition for Guardianship are filed with the probate court requesting that a guardian be appointed over the person and/or estate.

If the incapacitated person (the ward) has previously granted Durable Power of Attorney to another, it may be that only a guardian over the person is warranted. A guardian of the person is able to make decisions regarding health care, association and residence, while a guardian of the estate oversees and manages the ward’s assets, including real estate and personal property.

Protecting Those Unable to Protect Themselves

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If the Probate Court appoints a guardian of the estate, the guardian has many financial responsibilities including filing an inventory of all assets with the court, protecting the assets, making appropriate disbursements, paying expenses of the ward, and filing an annual accounting.

Guardianship is a serious matter. In our office, the ward is considered our client and we will assist the guardian as needed to fulfill his or her responsibilities to the ward and to act in the ward’s best interest.