We all have people we love and want to protect, and in many ways, estate planning is all about protecting the ones we love, though we generally think of this in financial terms. While this is true, there are other aspects of estate planning that go far beyond financial matters, one of those being guardianships. Essentially, a guardian is responsible for ensuring the well-being of another person, should that person be unable to care for him or herself, either due to age, incapacitation, or otherwise. Taking on a guardianship is a huge responsibility, and if you have recently been appointed as a guardian, you must continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Maryland elder law attorney to learn more about guardianships, what they require of an individual, and how our firm can help. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Who creates guardianships?
Guardianships can be created by different parties. In certain cases, parents will appoint a guardian to raise their child who is under the age of 18, should anything ever happen to both parents preventing them from raising their child. If you are appointed as the guardian of a child you will manage his or her finances, and you will also be expected to care for and raise the child as your own. On the other hand, there are times where people may appoint themselves as the guardian of an elderly person who can no longer care for themselves on their own. In other cases, if an older person has not appointed someone to manage his or her finances and other affairs for the time of incapacitation, the court may even appoint a guardian on behalf of the elderly individual.
What are my responsibilities as a guardian?
If you are appointed as a guardian, you will have full authority over the individual’s property, assets, and other aspects of his or her life, which is why you must always have the individual’s best interests in mind. Among your responsibilities, you may have to report back to the court and answer various questions regarding how you’ve conducted yourself as a guardian. Guardians should always keep their assets separate from the person they are helping, they should keep detailed records of all financial transactions, they must ensure the individual’s healthcare needs are met, they must pay all bills and taxes on time, they must ensure the person is living in a safe environment, and they must follow all of the court’s instructions.
Contact our experienced Montgomery County, 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.