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  • PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
  • TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
  • CHAPTER 190B MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE
  • ARTICLE V PROTECTION OF PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY
    AND THEIR PROPERTY
  • Section 5-209 Powers, duties, rights and immunities of guardian of minor; limitations

Section 5-209. [Powers, Duties, Rights and Immunities of Guardian of Minor; Limitations.]

(a) A guardian of a ward has the powers and responsibilities of a parent regarding the ward’s support, care, education, health and welfare. A guardian shall act at all times in the ward’s best interest and exercise reasonable care, diligence and prudence.

(b) In particular and without qualifying the foregoing, a guardian of a ward or incapacitated person shall:

(1) if consistent with the terms of any order by a court of competent jurisdiction take custody of the person of the ward or incapacitated person and establish his place of abode within or without the commonwealth;

(2) become or remain personally acquainted with the ward or incapacitated person and maintain sufficient contact with the person to know of his capacities, limitations, needs, opportunities, and physical and mental health;

(3) take reasonable care of the personal effects and commence protective proceedings if necessary to protect other property of the ward or incapacitated person;

(4) apply any available money of the ward or incapacitated person to his current needs for support, care, education health and welfare; provided that if any person has a legal duty to support a minor and has sufficient funds, the minor’s funds are not to be used to discharge the legal obligation of support without prior order of the court unless the court determines that the minor’s funds may be used for support;

(5) conserve any excess money of the person for his future needs, but if a conservator has been appointed for the estate of the ward or incapacitated person, the guardian, at least quarterly, shall pay to the conservator money of the ward or incapacitated person to be conserved for his future needs; and

(6) report the condition of the ward or protected person and of his estate that has been subject to the guardian’s possession or control, as ordered by the court on petition of any person interested in the respondent’s welfare or as required by court rule, but not less than annually.

(c) A guardian of a ward or incapacitated person may:

(1) apply for and receive money for the support of the ward or incapacitated person otherwise payable to his parent, guardian, or custodian for his support under the terms of any statutory benefit or insurance system or any private contract, devise, trust, conservatorship, or custodianship;

(2) if no conservator for the estate of the ward or incapacitated person has been appointed, institute proceedings, including administrative proceedings, or take other appropriate action to compel the performance by any person of a duty to support the ward or incapacitated person or to pay sums for his benefit;

(3) if consistent with the terms of any order by a court of competent jurisdiction and sections 5-306A and 5-309, consent to medical or other professional care, treatment, or advice for the ward or incapacitated person without liability by reason of the consent for injury to the ward or incapacitated person resulting from the negligence or acts of third persons unless a parent would have been liable in the circumstances;

(4) consent or refuse to consent to the marriage, divorce or adoption of the ward or incapacitated person;

(5) if reasonable under all of the circumstances, delegate to the ward or incapacitated person certain responsibilities for decisions affecting his well-being; and

(6) utilize the services of agencies and individuals to provide necessary and desirable social and protective services of different types appropriate to such person including, but not limited to, counseling services, advocacy services, legal services, and other aid as the guardian deems to be in the interest of such person.

(d) A guardian is entitled to reasonable compensation for services as guardian and to reimbursement for room, board and clothing personally provided to the ward or incapacitated person, but only as approved by order of the court and only from the person’s estate. If a conservator, other than the guardian or one who is affiliated with the guardian, has been appointed for the estate of the person, reasonable compensation and reimbursement to the guardian may be approved and paid by the conservator without order of the court controlling the guardian.

(e) A guardian need not use the guardian’s personal funds for the ward or incapacitated person’s expenses. A guardian is not liable to a third person for acts of the respondent solely by reason of the relationship.