Like most in Rockville, you do not ever anticipate being in a position where you would be unable to make decisions for yourself. Yet you never know when injury or illness could leave you without the capabilities to do so. When this happens, people often come to us here at The Law Office of Steven J. Gaba concerned over who will be might be named their loved one's guardian. While you might dismiss the idea of needing to know this information now, having this understanding may be helpful once you seriously start planning for your future.
First, you should understand the circumstances in which you might need to be appointed a guardian. Section 13-201(c) of the state's Estates and Trusts Code defines those as being situations where your ability to manage your property and affairs effectively is hindered by:
- Physical or mental disability
- Habitual drunkenness or addiction to drugs
- Imprisonment, confinement, or detention by a foreign power
- Compulsory hospitalization
The state follows a priority sequence when determining who to appoint as your guardian. The first to be considered would be any person or party already appointed to that role by another court having previous jurisdiction over your case. Next would be anyone you choose for the role, provided that you were over the age of 16 and had the mental capacity to comprehend your decision at the time you approved the appointment. After that, the court would consider your spouse, your parents, one appointed to the role in your deceased parents' will, your adult children, those who qualify as your heirs, one appointed by your current caregiver, one appointed by an organization or agency providing you benefits, or any individual the court deems to be qualified.
More information on adult guardianship can be found by browsing through our site.