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Maryland Standby Guardian Law

The parent may file a petition for appointment of a standby guardian.  The petition shall state the duties of the standby guardian, that there is a significant risk that the petitioner will become incapacitated or die within two years of the filing of the petition.  The triggering event shall be mental incapacitation, or physical debilitation, a written, attested consent of the parent or death. 

A parent may also designate a standby guardian by means of a written designation that is signed in the presence of two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age and signed by the standby guardian.  The designation law permits the triggering event to be either mental incapacitation, or physical debilitation accompanied by written consent.  The written designation shall identify the parent, the minor, and the person designated to be the standby guardian, state the duties of the standby guardian, and indicate that the parent intends for the standby guardian to become the minor’s guardian in the event the parent either becomes incapacitated or becomes debilitated and consents to the beginning of the standby guardian’s authority.

If the petition to appoint as standby guardian has already been approved, the standby guardian should file the confirming documents within 90 days after the parent’s death or incapacity.  The standby guardian should file a petition for judicial appointment within 180 days of the date of the beginning of the standby guardianship.

Each person with parental rights over the minor must join in the petition to appoint a standby guardian.  The standby guardian’s authority does not divest the parent of any parental or guardianship rights.

A court hearing is held when the standby guardian files a petition for appointment, along with an attested designation document that includes a basis for stating that there is significant risk of death or incapacitation within 2 years.  The court can put whatever limitation it deems necessary upon the guardianship.

A parent can revoke the petition, before it is filed by notifying the standby guardian verbally or in writing.  If the petition is filed, the parent must file a written revocation with the court and notify the standby guardian.  The standby guardian can also renounce an appointment at any time before assuming authority by filing a written renunciation with the court and notifying the parent in writing.


Inside Maryland Standby Guardian Law