Probate & Trust Litigation

A resource for lawyers and the public in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for information on will contests, trust disputes, guardianships, conservatorships, elder exploitation, fiduciary duty claims, and other probate litigation disputes.


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Court Provides Important Guidance on Guardian’s Power to Remove Live Support

Ralph HolmesIn In re Guardianship of L.N., the NH Supreme Court provided important guidance on the power of a guardian to terminate life support of a ward.  Recognizing that litigation is a “‘cumbersome mechanism’  for resolving end-of-life decisions,” the court held that “the general power to give or withhold consent to medical treatment under RSA 464-A:25, I(d) includes the power to withdraw life-sustaining treatment in appropriate circumstances.”   This means that a guardian facing the decision whether to continue or terminate life support can exercise his or her reasonable discretion in resolving this difficult issue.   In the event of unusual circumstances, such as a disagreement among family members, between the guardian and a family member, or between physicians, any of the interested parties could still petition the Probate Court for relief.