Maryland guardianship lawyers assist individuals through the formal legal processes of guardianship. A conservator, called a guardian of the property in Maryland, may be appropriate to appoint for a disabled person who is no longer able to manage their affairs or a minor. Contact an experienced attorney today who can guide you through the process.
Role of a Guardian of the Property
A guardian of the property is responsible for making financial decisions and managing the property of a disabled person or a minor. This role is distinct from a guardian of the person in Maryland, who has the duty of caring for the health and safety of a disabled person or a minor. Consequently, an individual may petition to be appointed to serve in either one or both roles.
The court will ultimately determine whether a guardianship of the person or property is necessary. A person may require the aid of a guardian of the property, a guardian of the person or both depending on their level of capacity.
Not every guardianship matter that is brought before the court will result in the appointment of a guardian of the person. If the court finds the alleged disabled person is, in fact, able to make decisions for themselves or there is a less restrictive alternative, the court may avoid the extreme measure of appointing a guardian of the property. Talk to a Maryland guardianship lawyer for more information.
How to File a Petition to Become Guardian of the Property
A petition requesting to be appointed as guardian of the property of a Maryland resident should be filed by an interested person in the county where the alleged disabled person or minor lives. (See Maryland Rules, Rule 10-301). Alternatively, the petition may be filed in the county where the person is hospitalized or if they are not a Maryland resident, in the county where they are currently located.
The petition requires the submission of detailed information and exhibits. The petition for the guardianship of the person of a disabled adult and a minor differ slightly but follow the same general procedure. Petitions should normally include the following information:
- A person’s personal contact information
- The alleged disabled person or minor’s contact information
- Any guardians previously nominated by the alleged disabled person or minor
- The relationship to the alleged disabled person or minor
- A summary of assets
- Reasons why a guardian of the property is appropriate
- Certificates from licensed medical professionals supporting the appointment of a guardian for an alleged disabled adult person
After the petition has been filed, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent the alleged disabled person if they do not already have counsel. An independent investigator may also be appointed to review the facts being presented to the court.
Benefits of Working with a Maryland Guardianship Lawyer
Although the guardianship process can be burdensome and costly, establishing a guardianship of the person or property may be a necessary course of action. A guardianship attorney can review a petition to make sure it conforms with all the requirements of Maryland law. A Maryland guardianship lawyer can also help familiarize you with the court process, assemble all necessary paperwork and prepare them for court hearings.
After a person is appointed as guardian of the person, a lawyer can go through the court order with you, which will outline your specific decision-making authority. They can also help you prepare the annual reports you will be required to file with the court. Hiring a Maryland guardianship lawyer to assist with gathering and assembling all of this information can help streamline the process and make it more manageable for you.