Americans are living longer than ever, and this can mean that some adults are reaching ages where they are physically functional but intellectually and mentally strained. In some circumstances, a person's body may endure longer than their mind, and this can mean that despite their apparent health, they are unable to care for themselves and their own needs. In Massachusetts an aged adult may have a guardian appointed if they are considered incapacitated and unable to take care of their own needs.
Probate is a legal process that endeavors to settle outstanding issues that are related to the disposition of individuals' end-of-life estates. For some Massachusetts residents, probate is a necessary component of closing out the legal and financial issues that come up when someone passes away. For others, it is a relatively expensive experience that may deprive beneficiaries of some of the wealth and assets they are supposed to receive.