Plan For The Future With Confidence

Plan For The Future With Confidence

What are the two types of public guardianship in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Disability, Elder Law, Estate planning

Public guardianship is a law-enforced arrangement that gives another person or party the responsibility to make decisions for you, including concerns about your property or personal welfare. In Maryland, this program is open to elders at least 65 years old, considering they potentially have health conditions that may incapacitate or disable them.

In general, there are two types of public guardianship based on the following assignments:

  • Guardian of another person: This role is responsible for an incapacitated or disabled individual’s personal decisions, taking care of their medical and basic needs.
  • Guardian of property: This court-appointed role gives someone authority to manage and handle another’s property. It hinges on whether the owner can oversee their assets reasonably.

The law provides these setups to address potential risks disabled or incapacitated individuals face daily, especially when making decisions that impact their health and safety. Still, the court sees public guardianship as a final resort. A case must meet specific conditions to be eligible for this arrangement. If not, less restrictive options could serve the same purpose.

What are the alternatives to guardianship?

If you are an elder or patient who is still able to make personal decisions rationally despite your health issues, you can choose to use the following alternatives:

  • Advance directives: These legal documents assign responsibility to specific parties when you cannot do so.
  • A living will: This option indicates your wishes regarding medical care and decisions, including organ donation and pain treatments.
  • Surrogate decision-making: This alternative authorizes your family members or friends to make decisions concerning your medical procedures in specific situations where you are incapacitated.

The law can provide other alternatives, depending on your circumstances. You can only determine the most appropriate option by speaking to a legal professional, detailing your condition and the features you wish to include. Preparing these arrangements can help establish firm instructions and decisions, mainly when you cannot express them yourself.