ABOUT THIS SERIES
Maine’s probate courts stand alone. Their judges are part-time and elected, and they operate independently from each other and the state supreme court. Probate courts are responsible for adult guardianships, which restrict an adult’s right to make choices and instead delegate those decisions to another person. In reporting this ongoing investigation, The Maine Monitor sent a survey to the 16 county probate courts and received responses from 10 that revealed some probate courts do little to assess the fitness of a guardian before or after they are appointed.
Some probate courts say they don’t know how many adults are in guardianships or whether they’re still alive.
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