Probate & Guardianship

Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets pass to his or her beneficiaries or heirs-at-law.

Assets pass by the terms of the Last Will and Testament of a deceased person or under the Rhode Island Laws of Descent if the deceased did not have a Will or the Will filed is not admitted to Probate.


Guardianship is a state law legal process in Rhode Island that is used when a person is not competent to make decisions for him or herself in at least one of the following areas:

  • Residential Matters
  • Financial Matters
  • Relationships
  • Health Care

A Guardianship is established for an individual only if all other possible lesser alternatives are considered and deemed to be ineffective or unavailable.

Among these alternatives are:

  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Living Will
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Trusts
  • Joint Property Arrangements
  • Representative Payee
  • Money Management
  • Single Court Transactions
  • Government Benefits and Social Service Programs
  • Housing Options

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