Guardianship for adults and disabled people in Maryland can ensure the well-being and protection of individuals who are unable to make decisions or care for themselves. In Maryland, the legal process of establishing guardianship involves several steps to safeguard the rights and interests of those in need. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the guardianship process for adults and disabled people in Maryland and empowers you, with the knowledge needed, to navigate this important legal procedure.
Legal Guardianship in Maryland
Guardianship is a legal relationship established by the court, granting a person or entity the authority and responsibility to make decisions and provide care for someone who lacks the capacity to make informed choices or care for themselves. The primary purpose of guardianship is to protect the well-being, rights, and dignity of individuals who are unable to handle their personal, medical, or financial affairs independently. There are typically two types of guardianship available to Marylanders who want to explore this option and an experienced guardianship attorney can be a valuable advocate.
Guardianship for Adults
Maryland recognizes two primary types of guardianship for adults and disabled individuals: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property. Guardianship of the person involves decision-making authority concerning personal care, medical treatment, living arrangements, and other daily needs. Guardianship of the property, also known as conservatorship, grants control over the individual’s financial matters, including managing assets, paying bills, and handling investments. Understanding the difference between these two types of guardianship is essential for individuals navigating the process and ensuring the well-being and financial security of those in need.
Guardianship of the Person
One of the two types of guardianship available for those who are caring for an adult or disabled individual is guardianship of the person. Guardianship of the person pertains to decision-making authority over an individual’s personal and medical care, daily living arrangements, and overall well-being. When a person lacks the capacity to make informed decisions or care for themselves due to a disability, mental illness, or other incapacitating factors, a guardian of the person may be appointed. The responsibilities of a guardian of the person include:
- Personal Care: The guardian is responsible for making decisions regarding the individual’s healthcare, medical treatments, and overall personal well-being. This includes ensuring they receive appropriate medical attention, managing medications, and making decisions about surgeries or therapies.
- Living Arrangements: The guardian determines where the individual will reside, whether it be at home with family, in a group home, or in a care facility. They are responsible for assessing and arranging suitable living conditions that meet the individual’s needs.
- Education and Employment: The guardian may be involved in making decisions regarding the individual’s education and vocational training, ensuring they have access to appropriate educational resources and employment opportunities.
- Daily Activities: The guardian assists with managing daily activities such as hygiene, nutrition, transportation, and recreational pursuits, promoting the individual’s overall quality of life.
Guardianship of the Property
Guardianship of the property, also known as conservatorship, deals with managing an individual’s financial affairs and assets. This type of guardianship is established when the individual is incapable of managing their finances due to a disability, illness, or other limiting factors. The responsibilities of a guardian of the property include:
- Financial Management: The guardian takes charge of managing the individual’s assets, income, and financial affairs. This includes paying bills, managing bank accounts, handling investments, and filing tax returns on behalf of the individual.
- Asset Protection: The guardian ensures that the individual’s property and assets are protected from fraud, theft, or mismanagement. They may be required to make decisions regarding the buying, selling, or leasing of property and assets for the individual’s benefit.
- Budgeting and Financial Planning: The guardian establishes and maintains a budget to meet the individual’s needs, such as housing, healthcare, and daily living expenses. They may also be involved in long-term financial planning, including the creation of trusts or estate planning.
In Maryland, guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property serve distinct purposes. It’s important to note that, in some cases, an individual may require both guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property. In such situations, the court will appoint separate guardians to fulfill each role, ensuring the individual’s personal and financial interests are adequately protected.
How A Guardianship Attorney Can Help
A guardianship attorney can help you navigate this complex legal process and ensure that your concerns are properly addressed. Your guardianship attorney will file a petition with the court, providing evidence of the individual’s incapacity and the necessity for guardianship. The court then reviews and evaluates the circumstances, considering the individual’s best interests and rights before appointing a guardian.
Navigating the process of guardianship in Maryland for adults and disabled individuals is a significant responsibility. The guardianship attorneys at Frame & Frame will help you understand the different types of guardianship, the step-by-step process, and help empower you to protect your loved ones effectively. Do you have more questions about guardianship in Maryland? Reach out today to schedule a consultation with the experienced guardianship attorneys at Frame & Frame Attorneys at Law.