Guardianship is a substantial limitation of a person’s liberty. Accordingly, limitations on liberty should only be made to the extent necessary to protect the individual from harm. Guardianship of Bassett, 7 Mass. App. Ct. 56, 61, 385 N.E.2d 1024, 1028 (1979). There is a very strong preference in the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) for limited guardianship. “A guardian shall exercise authority only as necessitated by the incapacitated person’s mental and adaptive limitations…” Chapter 190B § 5-309(a).

The purpose of limited guardianship is to "maximize the liberty and autonomy of the person subject to guardianship." Guardianship of B.V.G., 474 Mass. 315, 323 (2016). Therefore, the judge should limit the guardian’s authority to those areas in which the person is not competent to act on his or her own.