One of the first steps in the Maryland adult guardianship process is filing a petition with a circuit court. If you’re preparing to file a petition for guardianship, you might have some questions.
Am I eligible to petition for guardianship?
According to the law, you must be an interested person to petition for guardianship. An interested person may include:
- Someone nominated by the disabled person when they had sufficient mental capacity
- The disabled person’s immediate family members (spouse, parents, adult siblings, children or other lawful heirs)
- Health care agent or other government agencies
Where do I file the petition?
You need to file the petition with the circuit court in the county (or Baltimore City) where the disabled person lives (or, in some cases, where the person is hospitalized or where their property is located). The court will ask you to pay a filing fee.
Are guardianships of person and property filed in the same petition?
Usually they are, but they do not have to be.
What documentation do I need to file the petition?
Your petition must prove that the disabled person is unable to make responsible decisions and needs a guardian of the person or property. The petition’s content includes:
- A description of the disability
- The disability’s effect on the person’s ability to function
- The reason a guardian should be appointed
- Alternatives to guardianship that have been attempted and failed
- Information regarding previously appointed guardians
- A list of the disabled person’s assets
- The disabled person’s attorney or a request for a court appointed attorney
- Two certificates of disability from licensed health care professionals who have examined the person
File a Guardianship Petition with Less Stress
A petition that is incorrect or incomplete might cause your case to be delayed or dismissed. If you have questions regarding how to file a petition, then give us a call. Whether or not you have a lawyer, the court will require you to follow the same laws. We can advise you how to prepare a sound petition and how to navigate the various legal requirements of adult guardianship.