What is a Guardian?

A key aspect of any comprehensive estate plan is creating a guardianship. A guardian is someone who can handle affairs for an incapacitated person when they can no longer do these things on their own. Please continue reading and reach out to our experienced Maryland estate planning attorney to learn more about guardianship and how we can help you create one. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Why should I create a guardianship?

Creating a guardianship for a member of your family gives that person the legal authority to care for the person in the guardianship when they cannot care for themselves. In some cases, you may appoint yourself as someone else’s guardian, and in other cases, the court may appoint you as another person’s guardian.

What is a guardian’s job?

If you are appointed as a guardian for another person’s property or their money, you are considered a fiduciary. This means you must always abide by the following rules set forth by the state:

  1. You must only act in the individual’s best interest
  2. You must manage the individual’s money and property carefully and responsibly
  3. You must keep the individual’s money and property entirely separate from their own
  4. You must keep orderly records of all money and property

As a guardian, you are also responsible to the court, meaning you must be able to answer the court’s questions pertaining to your duties and actions as that person’s guardian. You are responsible for the following:

  • Pay all bills and taxes on time
  • Ensure the person you are a guardian for is living in a safe environment
  • List every asset the individual owns
  • Always follow the court’s instructions
  • Keep receipts for all expenses related to your guardianship
  • In certain cases, you must ensure all healthcare needs are met

How do I select a guardian?

In many estate plans, people will select someone they trust to act as their guardian if they can no longer conduct legal affairs on their own. You may appoint someone to look after you in your old age, or, if you are a parent of a child under the age of 18, you may appoint a guardian to care for that child if you for some reason should be unable to do so in the future. For any additional questions concerning guardianship or estate planning in Maryland, contact an experienced elder law attorney at JD Katz today.

Contact our experienced Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.