June 28, 2017

Fiduciary Services

Our attorneys and staff assist guardians, conservators, administrators and executors with day-to-day issues of financial accounting, finding residential placement, helping to arrange treatment of incapacitated persons, and care of estate property. We develop working relationships with fiduciaries, and help the process flow smoothly and correctly. Our attorneys and support team can provide you with as much guidance and support as you need. We remain available to assist with sales of real estate, long-term care plans, and financial transactions, if and when you need us.

People who act as executors, guardians or conservators are “fiduciaries”, and are required to protect the interests of the person or estate that they serve.

Massachusetts enacted the “Uniform Probate Code”, which updates the law on guardians and conservators, and puts a new emphasis on protecting the rights of incapacitated people who are placed under the care of guardians or conservators.  Massachusetts Courts want to ensure that elders, minors and incapacitated persons are given the respect and protection that they are entitled to.

A guardian is appointed by the court arrange and oversee an incapacitated person’s living circumstances, medical treatment and personal care. For example, family members or friends are often appointed guardians of elders who have become unable to care for themselves. The court requires each guardian to file annual reports about the incapacitated person’s health, residential arrangements, medical care and the explaining the extent of the guardian’s involvement in the incapacitated person’s life.

A conservator is appointed by the court to oversee and manage a protected person’s funds and property. The court may require the conservator to file periodic financial plans that explain how the conservator will budget and pay for the person’s needs and expenses. When first appointed, the conservator must file an inventory, showing a detailed list of all of the person’s funds and property. The conservator must file annual accounts, itemizing all income and expenses, and showing the account balance at the end of each year. The conservator need not be a tax or financial expert, but should have the sense to engage professionals to assist with important financial decisions.

An Executor (with a will) or Administrator (without a will) is an Estate Representative appointed by the Court to process the estate from the time of a person’s death until the entire estate is settled.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in fiduciary law, and have been involved in several ground-breaking appellate decisions.

Our Massachusetts estate planning attorneys have extensive experience in fiduciary law, and have been involved in several ground-breaking appellate decisions. See Tarvezian v Tarvezian, Brophy v Sinai Hospital and Munoz v Norwood Hospital. We represent many guardians, conservators and incapacitated persons in fiduciary matters, and are frequently appointed by the Massachusetts courts to investigate and act on fiduciary cases.