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CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIPS

THE BURTON FIRM > Guardianship  > CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIPS

CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIPS

MARYLAND GUARDIANSHIP LAWYER

Maryland Guardianship Lawyer

MARYLAND GUARDIANSHIP LAWYER EXPLAINS CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIPS & INTERESTED PERSON’S RIGHTS

Interested individuals have a large role in how guardianship of a minor, disabled person, or property is granted. Often, interested parties involvement will turn an uncontested guardianship case into a complicated battle, called a ‘contested guardianship.’ It may happen when the guardianship is being granted, or later down the line if an interested party believes the guardian is not doing a proper job of caring for the person or property. If you are fighting for guardianship, consult with a highly experienced Maryland guardianship lawyer for legal assistance.

Who is an Interested Party?

Some people are automatically considered interested persons due to their relationship with the minor or disabled individual. Others must request designation by the court as an interested party. The law defines the following groups as interested persons. These individuals are automatically permitted to participate in guardianship proceedings:

  • The person whose guardianship is being determined (depending on the age if a minor)
  • The current legal guardian
  • An individual who serves as the person’s guardian, even if not appointed by the court
  • The individual’s spouse
  • The individual’s parents
  • The individual’s children
  • Adult heirs to the person’s estate
  • Any government agency paying benefits to the person – This can include social security, unemployment, veterans’ benefits, medicaid, etc.
  • Any person, agency, or corporation the person has chosen – So long as the person is at least 16 years of age and has sufficient mental capacity to make an educated decision to sign the necessary designation form.
  • Any person, agency, or corporation a caregiver of the person has chosen
  • A healthcare agent that the person has appointed
  • The director of the local department of social services – For adults under 65 years of age
  • The Secretary of Aging or the director of the area agency on aging – For adults 65 years and older
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs – As applicable by Code, Estates and Trusts Article 13-801
  • Any other person, agency, or corporation that the court considers an interested party by default

Because each case is so unique and there are many factors that play into a situation, it’s best you speak with a Maryland guardianship lawyer.

Becoming an Interested Party

If someone that is not in the list above wishes to be considered an interested party and be involved in the decision-making for guardianship for the individual in question, he or she must file and serve a motion to intervene. The specifics of this motion are covered under Maryland Rule 2-214 and the motion must be filed within a certain time period. This motion must contain grounds for the intervention in guardianship proceeding. If the intervention is granted, the person is designated as an interested party and can

When a person is applying to be considered an interested party, their interests are compared to those of all the other pre-existing interested parties. The relationship of the applicant’s interests to other interested parties can be classified as:

  • Adverse
  • Similar
  • Identical

If the applicant’s interest is not represented by the other pre-existing interested parties, it may be determined that a lack of adequate representation for that interest requires the designation of that individual as an interested party. Always consider speaking to a Maryland guardianship lawyer as it pertains to your case.

Intervening in Guardianship Proceedings when not an Interested Party

It may be possible for a person to intervene on guardianship proceedings even if he or she is not officially designated as an “interested party” by the court. This is typically regarding whether the person under consideration should have a guardian at all. Someone may come forward to argue that the individual for whom guardianship is being determined is of sound mind and has the ability to make his or her own decisions regarding his or her health and other affairs. More common is when a healthcare provider or Maryland guardianship lawyer attempts to defend their stance as the decision-maker for that person’s care or the management of their estate.

Interested Persons and Guardianship Proceedings

All interested parties must be provided with a copy of the guardianship petition, show cause order, and a “Notice to Interested Persons.” These are court documents that provide official explanations for why the potential guardian wishes to be granted guardianship. The court is not supposed to grand guardianship unless all interested parties have been provided with a copy of these documents and have had the opportunity to respond to the guardianship petition.

Interested persons who wish to object must file what is called a “pleading response” in a timely manner. Interested parties are permitted to:

  • Object to the appointment of a guardian at all
  • Object to the appointment of the specific individual petitioning to be guardian
  • Argue that the individual in question may be harmed by the appointment of a guardian

After Appointment

Interested parties are permitted to invoke the jurisdiction of the court at any point in the duration of the guardianship to inquire as to the state of the guardianship. This allows the court to look into the details of how the guardian is conducting his or herself as guardian. Speak to a Maryland guardianship lawyer to learn what the best course of action to take in your situation.

CONTACT MARYLAND GUARDIANSHIP LAWYER FOR HELP

The Burton Law Firm understands how divorce can affect you and your family’s life indefinitely. Having years of experience handling all types of family law cases throughout the state of Maryland, you can trust us to handle your case with care. Give us a call at (301) 420-5540 to speak with a family law lawyer in Maryland.

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