Guardianship in Maryland can be a complex process but there are ways to navigate the process if you understand the legal requirements. First, it helps to understand that a guardian is appointed by the court when an adult is unable to take care of their personal or financial needs due to incapacitation, age, disease, or disability, in accordance with Maryland legal guidelines. Additionally, guardianship is established for minor children when their parent or parents are unable to provide adequate care due to an illness, injury, incapacitation, or incarceration. In either case, an experienced Maryland guardianship attorney can provide the assistance you need to protect your loved one.
Guardianship of a Minor Child Whose Parents Are Incapable of Providing Care
Many people associate guardianship of a child with the death of the child’s parents. However, this is not always the case. A grandparent, other family member, or close family friend of the child can be appointed guardian by petitioning the court. This may be needed if the child’s parent or parents are incapable of taking care of the child, due to an illness, drug or alcohol addiction and treatment, or any other serious reason. The guardianship may be temporary, while the parent recovers from a serious injury, and it allows the parent or parents to retain their parental rights. The guardian is granted legal authority to ensure the needs of an individual are taken care of, but does not automatically grant custodial rights. For a family going through a rough time, guardianship may be the best answer. An experienced guardian attorney can help determine the best approach.
Guardianship of an Elderly Parent With Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s dementia affects nearly six million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. As an adult child of a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you can understand just how devastating this disease is. Other seniors suffer from other forms of cognitive decline or impairments that make them similarly at risk—at risk of forgetting to take their medicine or to properly feed and clothe themselves, at risk of being taken advantage of by financial scammers, at risk of forgetting to pay their mortgage or electricity bill, and generally at risk of causing harm to themselves. In these cases, you can petition the court to become a guardian, and take over your elderly parent’s financial and decision making for them. They must be deemed incapacitated by the court to do this, however.
Becoming a Guardian
The most difficult aspect of legal guardianship in Maryland is gaining the court’s approval that guardianship is necessary, and that you are the qualified individual who can best carry out the vulnerable person’s best interests. The court may provide an orientation program, training program, and other resources. A well-thought out estate plan can reduce some of the burden and stress by clearly outlining the wishes ahead of time.
Our Maryland Guardianship Attorneys Can Help You Now
If you have a loved one that needs guardianship, our Maryland guardianship attorneys can help you get started immediately. Here at Frame & Frame, we help concerned family members and adult children care for their loved ones by setting up guardianships in the vulnerable person’s best interest. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Maryland guardianship attorneys, call us today at 410-255-0373.