A Guardian is a person appointed by the Court to safeguard and make decisions regarding the person or property of another.
In Maryland, a person may obtain Guardianship over someone who does not have or no longer has the ability to make or communicate responsible decisions regarding their health or finances. Typically Guardianship is sought to help care for a person who has lost their ability to care for themselves due to an illness or injury. Guardianship is also appropriate for someone who has these limitations due to a congenital condition. We often see parents seeking guardianship of a disabled child which is turning.
At Dieck|Keir we are familiar with all aspects of Maryland guardianship. Our experienced and caring attorneys are available to help you through what can often be a difficult time as you continue to care for a family member or others close to you.
A petition for guardianship of the person or property typically needs to be supported by certificates from two separate medical providers. One certificate needs to be issued by a physician and the other certificate must be issued by either a physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner or social worker. One of these certificates must be issued within 21 days of the petition so timing is a critical factor leading up to the filing of the petition.
Who is an interested person?
An interested person it’s a spouse brother sibling or child of the alleged disabled person. An interested person may also be a governmental entity, space like Social Security or other administration association, which pays benefits to the alleged disabled person. The local Department of Aging is often an interested person as well.
To become appointed guardian of the person a property an individual must take and certify that they have taken certain training programs through the Maryland Circuit Court. The court provides access to the training materials through their website here: https://mdcourts.gov/family/guardianship/guardianorientationprogram
Guardian of the person or property of a disabled person is required to make one or more yearly reports to the court. A guardian of the person must make a yearly report about any changes to the disabled person’s health, among other things. Guardian of property must make a yearly accounting of all of the financial activity involving the disabled person’s assets. The court will review these filings and contact the guardian if there are any discrepancies or concerns. For this reason, many people choose to have an independent third party appointed as guardian of the property.
there are two types of guardianships in Maryland, guardian of the person and guardian of the property. Guardian of the person means that you have the power to control what happens with the physical body of the disabled person. The guardian of the person may decide what medical care the disabled person should receive, a facility in which they should live, and things related to their physical being.
A guardian of the property has the ability to control the assets and finances of a disabled person. The guardian of the property may sell a disabled person’s house, use the money for their care, and be subject to strict oversight by the court.
Property of a juvenile
Sometimes, often as a result of the death of a family member, a child under 18 receives money or property. Often times a guardian of the property is required to manage the property for a minor until they turn 18, or even afterward.
Property of a minor child
- Orphans’ court?
Sometimes a Petition for guardianship is contested, which means the Alleged Disabled Person or one of the other interested persons does not agree that a guardian is needed, or that the person Petitioning the court should be the one who is appointed. In these cases, a trial is often needed and the judge, or jury, decides the outcome. The attorneys at Dieck|Keir have tried contested guardianship cases in counties throughout Maryland, with successful outcomes for our clients.
An uncontested guardianship occurs when all of the Interested Persons agree, or at least do not object to the Petitioner becoming the Guardian of the Alleged Disabled Person’s person or property.
Transfer of Guardianship
Sometimes it is necessary for a person under a guardianship to be moved from one state to another. There are specific procedures in Maryland for this process. Most states have signed on to the Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, which allows for a smoother process between participating states. Certain states do not follow this Act. To see is your state participates click here: https://www.uniformlaws.org/committees/community-home?CommunityKey=0f25ccb8-43ce-4df5-a856-e6585698197a
Dieck|Keir is available to assist with the transfer of Guardianships and conservatorships into and from the state of Maryland.