In Elder Law News

It's a little difficult to answer because “guardian” means different things in different states. In some states, it encompasses control over the ward’s finances and legal matters; in others just over health care and living choices, such as where the person will live.

If it’s the first and you can’t come to agreement, then the normal remedy is to go back to the probate court to ask for instructions. If it’s the latter, then absent some other form of authority, such as a durable power of attorney, none of you have the legal standing to make any decisions regarding the house. You and your brother would have to go back to court to either get expanded authority under the guardianship or seek a conservatorship (if that’s the right term in your state).

Read more about guardianship in the following articles:

Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at

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