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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page provides an overview of the new rules and rule changes and resources developed by the workgroup. It will be updated periodically.
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).
The Guardianship/Vulnerable Adults Workgroup will maintain a roster of attorneys eligible for appointment under Md. Rule 10-106(b)(1) (as amended by the Rules Order filed 10-10-17).
There are two ways for attorneys to get on the roster:
- If an attorney completes a training that meets the requirements of the Maryland Guidelines for Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Proceedings, they can complete an online application demonstrating their eligibility. The workgroup will screen these applications and add eligible attorneys to the roster.
- Attorneys with relevant training or experience who want the training requirement waived, can fill out an application seeking a waiver of the requirement and file it, along with any supporting documentation, in each court they are willing to accept appointments in. If approved by a particular court, completed applications should be emailed to: email@example.com.
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.
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 the Person and Property – Disabled Person Training (10.31.2017)
- Guardians of the Person – Disabled Person Training (10.31.2017)
- Guardians of the Property – Disabled Person Training (10.31.2017)
Guardians of Minors (PowerPoint files)
- Guardians of the Person and Property – Minor Training (11.14.2017)
- Guardians of the Person – Minor Training (11.14.2017)
- Guardians of the Property – Minor Training (11.14.2017)
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.