The Probate Court can appoint a Guardian for a minor (aged 17 or younger), a legally incapacitated adult (L.I.I.), or an individual with a developmental disability (D.D.).
A minor guardianship gives an adult other than the parent the power to act on behalf of a minor. If a minor lives with an adult that is not the parent and no power of attorney has been signed by the parent, the Probate Court may appoint a guardian for that minor. An adult, or a minor age 14 or older, may file this petition.
Guardianship of Legally Incapacitated Individual (L.I.I.)
If an adult is an incapacitated individual such that he or she lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions due to mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or another cause not including minority, the Probate Court may appoint a guardian for that individual.
Guardianship of an Individual with a Developmental Disability (DD)
If an adult is not able to make decisions or care for themselves because of a mental or physical condition that existed before the age of 22 and that condition is likely to continue indefinitely, a petition may be filed to request that the Court appoint a guardian for the developmentally disabled person. Any person interested in the welfare of the developmentally disabled person may file this petition.