In Maryland, a legal guardian is an individual or group responsible for making financial and personal decisions for another person. Legal guardianship is usually used for adults with a disability, incapacitated seniors, or minor children. In addition, there are several different types of guardianship, including guardianship of property, guardianship of a person, limited guardianship, short-term or temporary guardianship, and guardianship of the property and person. In this guide, we will go into further detail about temporary guardianship and what this process entails.

temporary guardianship maryland

Guardianship in Maryland

Guardianships are usually used in two distinct areas in Maryland. The first area is guardianship of minor children. These cases often arise when a child has inherited or been awarded property or when both parents are unavailable or have passed away. The second area is guardianship of an individual who is unable to make healthcare, living, financial, and legal decisions on their own.

The court always prioritizes the child’s best interest when determining a guardian. As a result, the court may apply the following techniques to determine the best fit:

  • Speaking with the individual wishing to be a guardian
  • Call on expert witnesses to testify regarding individuals who would serve as the best guardians
  • Looking into whether parents or a Last Will and Testament named a guardian, as this can impact the court’s decision
  • The child may be asked about their preference for a guardian, depending on the situation and their age

What Is a Temporary Guardianship?

When a person cannot make decisions due to an emergency, a short-term or temporary guardian may be appointed by the court to make necessary decisions for a period of time. The guardian is usually a family member or close friend, but in emergencies where the individual has no family or friend to serve as guardian, the court may appoint a public guardian.

How Do You Appoint a Temporary Guardian in Maryland

To pursue legal guardianship, whether temporary or permanent, the action will need to be filed with the Circuit Court in Maryland, in the jurisdiction where an individual resides or is institutionalized. The court will then conduct a hearing where evidence is presented to determine if guardianship is necessary and whether the proposed guardian can serve in the role. 

However, applying for guardianship in Maryland can be a challenging ordeal. That is why you want to consider reaching out to an experienced Maryland guardianship attorney before starting this process. These legal professionals can provide you with information about the role, detail the obligations of a guardian, and help you in the process of asking the court to name a guardian. 

How Long Will a Temporary Guardianship Last?

The main difference between guardianship and temporary guardianship is the duration of time it remains in effect. A guardianship is typically indefinite, but the ward (a.k.a. the disabled) can ask the court to end it if they believe it is no longer necessary. On the other hand, temporary guardianship usually ends on a specified date. Once the temporary guardianship is terminated, the ward regains complete control of their personal and financial decisions.

The duration of temporary guardianship varies depending on the individual’s specific circumstances. This time period can also be set by a living will or a power of attorney document. The temporary nature of this type of guardianship is intended to help an individual through specific situations.

Learn More About Temporary Guardianship, Contact Rice Law Today 

At Rice Law, we have over 45 years of experience helping individuals and families navigate their cases to achieve their goals. If you want more information about temporary guardianship or what the process entails, contact Rice Law today.

Blogs published by Rice Law are available for informational purposes only and are not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The reader understands that by viewing blog posts no attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and the blog publisher, Rice Law. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.