Guardianship Attorney in Bethesda, Maryland
Many families find themselves in a variety of difficult situations. When the matter is in regards to a minor or a disabled person, a challenging situation can become even more delicate. Sometimes, the court makes the decision to appoint an individual to act as the guardian for another party who is not able to take care of their personal or financial needs. The state of Maryland takes guardianship very seriously and has recently taken additional steps that will require all future guardians to partake in an orientation program. If you have been appointed by the court to act as an individual’s guardian or if you are petitioning for this role on your own, it is important to speak with an experienced elder law attorney. Contact JD Katz today to discuss your case.
What is a Guardianship?
As our loved ones age, it can become difficult for them to handle all of their personal and financial matters by themselves. Of course, family members who are willing and able to aid their loved ones in ensuring all of their matters are being handled will try to do so. Sometimes, the court takes it into their own hands and decides that a guardian should be appointed to an individual. Whatever the case may be, it is important for a potential future guardian to understand their responsibility.
Responsibilities of a Guardian
In Maryland, a person who has been appointed to act as the guardian for another person’s property or money is also considered a fiduciary. The state has outlined four main duties that must be met when fulfilling this role.
- The guardian must only act in the individual’s best interest
- The guardian must manage the individual’s money and property carefully
- The guardian must be sure to keep all of the individual’s money and property separate from their own
- The guardian must keep good records of all money and property
Not only does a guardian have a responsibility to the individual, they also have one to the court. All guardians have to be prepared to answer any questions that the court may have because they put their trust in that person to meet all duties. Some of the other duties that a guardian may have can include the following:
- Ensure that all bills and taxes are paid on time
- Ensure that the individual is living in a safe environment
- Make an inventory of all of the individual’s assets
- If the court order gives specific instructions, be sure to follow them
- Keep receipts for all expenses
- Depending on the arrangement, ensure that all healthcare needs are met
Choosing a Guardian
Many people will choose someone that they would like to act as their guardian if they can no longer handle matters on their own. This is often included as part of one’s estate plan. When choosing a guardian, it is essential that they are a very trusted individual who will not take advantage of one’s finances or exploit them in any way. This role should not be offered or accepted lightly. If you have questions, contact an experienced elder law attorney at JD Katz.
Contact a Maryland Guardianship Attorney
If you or a loved one is planning their estate, it is a good idea to consider a party that would be able to take on the role of guardian if need be. In cases where the court appoints a guardian, it is important to understand the role that is being accepted. If you have questions about any matters related to guardianship in Maryland, contact the experienced attorneys at JD Katz today to discuss your situation.