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Reviewing the powers granted to guardians

It is no doubt difficult to watch your loved one’s physical and mental health deteriorate to the point of them becoming incapacitated. When such a point is reached, you understand the need for added assistance to ensure that they are cared for, yet seeing them lose their decision-making authority to another can be equally as difficult. A great deal of trust is placed in those who are named guardians, yet many in Rockville have come to our team here at Steven J. Gaba concerned that trust is being violated. You can only know this for certain, however, if you understand what authority an adult guardian is empowered with. 

Per Section 13-708 of Maryland’s Estates and Trusts Code, an adult guardian is to be given no more authority than is necessary to provide for the demonstrated needs of their ward. Standard powers that are often given in such a relationship are the right to determine where the ward lives, and to use funds available from the ward’s estate to see to said person’s room, board, care, and education. The guardian must, however, exercise sound judgment in this so as to conserve whatever excess income they can for the ward’s estate. In other words, your loved one’s guardian should not intentionally be spending their excess money in the name of care if it is not absolutely necessary. 

A guardian also is often given the following rights related to medical decision-making: 

  • The right to consent to medical care for your loved one
  • The right to withdraw your loved from receiving medical care
  • The right to withhold medical care from your loved one

Such decisions, however, must still be motivated by your loved one’s best interests. More information on the powers granted to a guardian can be found here on our site. 

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