Guardianship Information for Courts

On January 1, 2018, amendments to Title 10 of the Maryland Rules go into effect that will change how courts manage guardianships under Title 13 of the Estates and Trusts Article. These changes reflect the Judiciary’s ongoing efforts to ensure the personal and financial well-being of vulnerable Marylanders.

Read the Rules Order filed 10-10-17.

The Guardianship/Vulnerable Adults Workgroup of the Judicial Council’s Domestic Law Committee (the workgroup) will provide ongoing support to courts as they navigate these changes. For assistance, email: guardianship@mdcourts.gov.

This page provides an overview of the new rules and rule changes and resources developed by the workgroup. It will be updated periodically.

Summary of New Rules and Rule Changes
Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Proceedings
Guardian Orientation, Checklists, and Training Programs
Guardianship Forms

 

Summary of New Rules and Rule Changes

The amendments to Title 10 effective January 1, 2018, include:

  • New requirements for certificates completed by physicians, psychologists, and licensed-certified social workers-clinical (LCSW-Cs) (amendments to Md. Rule 10-202).
  • New training and eligibility requirements for attorneys appointed to represent subjects of proceedings to establish guardianships (amendments to Md. Rule 10-106 and the Maryland Guidelines for Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Proceedings, attached as a new appendix to Title 10). Click here for more information.
  • Orientation and training requirements for guardians of the person and property (amendments to Md. Rule 10-108, new rules 10-205.1 and 10-304.1, and the Guidelines for Court-Appointed Guardians of the Person and Guidelines for Court-Appointed Guardians of the Property, attached as new appendices to Title 10). Click here for more information.
  • Factors for courts to consider when determining whether good cause exists to appoint as guardian an individual with a conviction for a disqualifying offense under Estates & Trusts Article, § 11-114 (new Md. Rule 10-113).
  • Factors for courts to consider when determining whether to require a guardian of the property to post a bond (amendments to Md. Rule 10-702).
 

Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Proceedings

The Guardianship/Vulnerable Adults Workgroup will maintain the Roster of Eligible Attorneys. The workgroup will screen attorneys who complete a Maryland Guidelines training and submit an Application for Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Proceedings

Attorneys with relevant training or experience seeking waiver of the Maryland Guidelines training requirement can complete an Application Seeking Waiver of the Md. Rule 10-106(b)(1)(C) Training Requirement and file it along with supporting documentation in each court they are willing to accept appointments.  To be added to the roster, these attorneys or the court granting the waiver should email the completed applications to guardianship@mdcourts.gov

Individuals courts may establish their own screening process and maintain a separate list of attorneys eligible for appointment.  Inclusion on the roster does not guarantee an attorney will be appointed in any particular court.

 

Guardian Orientation, Checklists, and Training Programs

Note: The orientation and training requirements do not apply to public guardians or guardianships that terminate parental rights.

Guardian Orientation Program

Before appointment, prospective guardians must watch a video Orientation Program for Court-Appointed Guardians. They can watch the program at any point before the court signs an order appointing them as the guardian or as the court otherwise directs. Courts should be mindful that some guardians may need help accessing a public computer and navigating the website.

 

Guardian Checklists

The Guardian Checklists are resources to help newly-appointed guardians take their first steps. The workgroup encourages courts to provide the checklists to guardians upon appointment and insert court-specific information.

 

Guardian Training Programs

Guardians of the person must complete a training conforming to the Guidelines for Court-Appointed Guardians of the Person within 120 days of appointment. Guardians of the property must complete a training conforming to the Guidelines for Court-Appointed Guardians of the Property within 60 days of appointment. The training programs are a court function.

In-person programs. The workgroup encourages guardianship court staff and judges to host in-person classes for guardians that meet the applicable guidelines requirements. The workgroup developed the following templates for courts to use and adapt to reflect local practices and resources:

Guardians of Disabled Persons (PowerPoint files)

Guardians of Minors (PowerPoint files)

Online programs. Using the templates, the workgroup developed online videos guardians can to view to meet the training requirement. There are separate videos for guardians of disabled persons and guardians of minors. The workgroup will replace these videos with interactive, self-paced, online courses at a later date.

Guardianship Forms

The workgroup developed a series of forms to help parties to guardianships take certain actions. If you have suggestions for how to improve an existing form or want to request the development of a new form, email guardianship@mdcourts.gov.