December 10th, 2014 by Jenna N. Schmidt, Esq.
Guardian Care Plan/Report
Guardians of incapacitated persons (IPs) are required to file a Guardian Care Plan/Report 60 days after the permanent guardianship appointment, and every year on the anniversary of that appointment. The Guardian Care Plan/Report is used by the court to monitor the guardianship and to ensure that the guardian is playing his or her part in ensuring that the IP receives any necessary care or services. The Report is available at this link: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/forms/probate-and-family/mpc821-guardianship-care-plan-report-incapacitated-person-fill.pdf
What if the Report is Not Filed in Time?
If the Report is not filed by the due date, the Court may issue an Order which requires the Guardian to appear in court on a specific date, unless the Report is filed beforehand. Failure to file the Report before the hearing and failure to appear at this hearing may affect the Guardian’s status as Guardian.
What Information is Required by the Report?
The Report asks a variety of basic questions, including where the person has resided during the reporting period, what medical or other services the IP receives and whether the guardian recommends any changes for the future care of the IP or the guardianship itself, among other things. There is no need to be overly detailed, but it is important to answer honestly.
Certificate of Service Requirement:
The last page of the Guardian Care/Plan Report has section entitled “Certificate of Service.” The court requires the guardian to verify that a copy of the Guardian Care Plan/Report must be hand delivered to the IP or sent by certified mail to the IP’s address. Thus, the Guardian is required to sign the “Certificate of Service” section to verify that he or she has served a copy of the Guardian Care Plan/Report to the IP by either of those two methods. If the Guardian believes it would not be in the IP’s best interest to receive a copy of this report, the Guardian must obtain court permission in order to avoid this requirement.
How to File:
Be sure to include the docket number of the guardianship at the top of the Guardian Care Plan/Report, so the court knows which court file it belongs to. This docket number can be found on the Guardianship Decree. Once the document is signed and dated, and the IP has been sent a copy of the Report by certified mail, or received a copy in-hand per the Certificate of Service, the Guardian must file the Report with the court. This can be done by simply mailing the original Report directly to the Probate court.
What Happens Next:
After you mail in your Report to the court, you may receive a document entitled “Notice/Order Regarding Guardian’s Care Plan Report.” This form is used by the court to indicate it has accepted the Report. However, this form is also used if the Guardian has failed to complete a portion of the Report, and is required to file an Amended Report. If the Notice/Order Regarding Guardian’s Care Plan Report indicates that an Amended Report is required, the court will require the Amended Report to be filed with the court by a certain date.