When a loved one passes away, oftentimes their family is left with several complicated burdens to deal with. Sometimes if a loved one leaves behind a family member who is unable to take care of him or herself, the family has to step in and figure out who will be that person’s caretaker and legal guardian.
What responsibilities does becoming a legal guardian entail?
While usually the family in question decides who should be their loved one’s guardian, sometimes the court takes it upon itself to make that decision for them. If you are selected to be someone’s legal guardian–either by your family or by the courts–it is important you know what you are getting into, as this is a very serious responsibility. In Maryland, if you are selected as a guardian for another person’s property or money, you are also considered a fiduciary, or trustee. Here are some of the responsibilities a legal guardian in Maryland must take on:
- You must act only in the individual’s best interest, as presumably, they are unable to fully do so themselves
- You must carefully manage the individual’s money and property carefully, as you are responsible for making sure all their finances are proper and well-kept
- You must keep the individual’s money or property separate from your own, as you do not own it–you are merely responsible for ensuring all finances and property are as they should be
- You must also keep tidy and efficient records of all money and property, in case the status of either comes into question
Becoming another individual’s legal guardian is a huge responsibility, and it is important you abide by all the rules and regulations that come along with it. If you are appointed to be someone’s guardian, this means you are a trusted person who is close to the individual in question, and you should do everything in your power not to break that trust.
How is a guardian chosen?
As previously stated, a guardian must be someone the individual trusts with his or her life. Therefore, whether you are trying to select a guardian or are the guardian-to-be, you should fully understand the significance of your decision.
Contact an experienced Maryland guardianship attorney
Selecting a guardian can be a very emotional and stressful process, as it is a huge life decision. This is why you must also select an attorney who is compassionate and understands the implications of this decision. Choose JD Katz if you wish to stay informed and in-the-know throughout the entire guardian selection process.
The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience 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.