Life is often unpredictable. Anything from a sudden fall to a long-term illness can leave someone in Maryland unable to care for themself. By appointing a legal guardian, someone gets help making life-related decisions. You might think that only senior citizens or incapacitated individuals need guardians. While valid, several guardianships can apply to people of any age.
A legal guardianship isn’t always permanent. In some cases, a court will grant temporary guardianships to people to watch over someone for a specified period. When this period ends, the temporary guardianship is over unless a court allows for a guardianship extension.
When someone can’t take care of themselves, they could need someone with full guardianship. These types of guardians control all major aspects of another person’s life. Full guardianship often entails making healthcare, financial and other important decisions on someone else’s behalf.
For many reasons, a minor, adult or senior citizen might only need help with certain decisions. For instance, someone making their own healthcare and day-to-day decisions might want help with estate planning matters. In this case, a court could appoint a guardian to only make estate-related decisions.
Emergencies happen, including those happening to people without guardians. Fortunately, emergency guardianship can grant a person immediate protection from a guardian. An emergency guardianship might be temporary. However, not all temporary guardianships are due to emergencies.
A legal guardian plays a vital role in the life of the person they care for. If you need to choose a legal guardian, ensure you select someone trustworthy and capable of making sometimes difficult decisions.