1984 doesn’t seem like that long ago. But at that time, only a little over 30 years ago, guardianship laws in this state were stuck in 1905. And in 1905, laws were only a marginal improvement over the colonial era laws first enacted in 1742. It’s hard to fathom, but in 1984, a person in this state could be classified as an “idiot, lunatic, or person of unsound mind” and stripped of his or her personal autonomy.
The evolution of guardianship law in Rhode Island has been equally fascinating and frustrating. The 1992 Act and subsequent updating have brought about significant modernization to the law. Nevertheless, there are those who believe that there remains more to do.
I have written about this topic in an article published in the current issue of the the Rhode Island Bar Journal. If you’d like to read more, see The Evolution of Rhode Island Guardianship Law in the May/June 2016 issue, beginning on page 5.