What does it mean?

You can only sign legal documents while you still have the mental capacity to do so. Should you become incapacitated and don’t have a Durable Power of Attorney, someone (most likely your spouse or closest relatives) will have to petition the court to open a Guardianship case (called Conservatorship in some states), so they could be officially appointed as your guardians and be able to manage affairs on your behalf. Needless to say, it could be time-consuming and expensive.

There are two types of Guardianships in the state of Maryland. Guardianship of Person means that you make medical decisions on their behalf and have access to their medical records. This is especially important if you have someone who has become disabled via injury, or who has developed dementia in their later years, and requires assistance from a loved one in their medical affairs. Guardianship of Property means that you are able to manage your loved one’s finances, including making transactions, selling their home, and many more responsibilities.

Why it is important

The need to petition for a Guardianship can sneak up on you quickly. Oftentimes, you have spent a great deal of time caring for your loved one, helping them manage their affairs, and make the best medical decisions. However, there are certain aspects of your loved one’s life that only they can control. While they have mental capacity, you can likely reason with them: they will know you have their best interests at heart, and will make official decisions and authorizations that help them improve their life.

However, once they lose the mental capacity to make these decisions and authorizations, you will no longer be able to help them. Doctors that you have known for years will not listen to you without your loved one’s consent, which they are no longer capable of providing. The same goes for banks; you cannot write checks on their behalf, move finances, or help them sell their home as they enter a nursing facility. In order to regain that control of your loved one’s important decision-making, you will have to go to the Courts and have them approve your request to serve as your loved one’s guardian.

How We Can Help

That’s where we come in. Over the past six years, our office has helped families from all walks of life to help seek and obtain guardianship over their loved ones. We will assist you with compiling the necessary information about your loved one’s condition, and submitting it to the court for approval. We can also help with many other tricky circumstances revolving around guardianships, including representing you during court hearings, and transferring guardianships into/out of the state of Maryland.

Getting Started

Ready to Take the First Step?

The best way to accomplish anything is by taking the first step. Our team is ready to work diligently to help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Schedule a consultation today or learn more about our process below.

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