If a person is unable to make everyday decisions and/or handle their finances because of the effects of a disease or other disabling condition, they may require the courts to step in and appoint a guardian. Court-appointed guardians protect Maryland’s most vulnerable individuals. The Adult Public Guardianship Program is, by statute, an agency of last resort. The Public Guardian is only appointed when an individual is adjudicated incompetent and there is no one else willing, or able, to perform the required duties of the Guardian. This program then assumes ALL aspects of case management, both new, and those duties previously provided by other case management services. Other services provided by the Guardianship Program Manager include but are not limited to arranging funerals, attendance at Court hearings, and avoidance of guardianship cases. The Adult Public Guardianship Program interacts and cooperates with other entities such as the Long-term Care Ombudsman, local health departments, hospitals – both acute and psychiatric, and the Medicaid Waiver program, amongst others. The Guardianship Program Manager is responsible for assuring that the client receives all available benefits, many of which may be provided by other programs at the Bureau of Aging & Disabilities.

Adult Guardianship: Introduction to Adult Guardianship
Below you can view the first video in a three-part series created by the Maryland Courts, in order to help you understand the responsibilities of adult guardianship. In this video you can learn what guardianship is, when guardianship is appropriate, and begin to understand the legal process for becoming a guardian.
Video - Introduction to Adult Public Guardianship

Decision-Making for a Disabled Person
As guardian of the person, you are expected to assume the responsibility of becoming the sole decision maker for the person with a disability. You may need to make decisions that are different from what you would do for yourself. These three videos explain how to make decisions as a guardian of the person.
Video - Decision Making for a Disabled Person

Maryland Guardianship
The court appointed me as a guardian. Now what? The court now requires individuals complete an orientation program upon their appointment. There are also a number of other valuable training programs and resources that can be accessed through the Maryland Courts website or the link below.
Video - Guardian Orientation Program

Guardianship Forms
Link to Forms

Guardian Video Series
Are you a prospective guardian for a person with a disability or a minor? Are you already a guardian looking for guidance in your role as guardian of the person or guardian of the property? This series may have the information you need to meet the challenge.
Guardian Video Series

Resources for Guardians
Link to Resources

Do you need help making a safety decision?
Safety Decision Brochure

Additional Resources

  • What is an Advanced Directive? An Advanced Directive is a legal document that can be completed to specify what actions you would like taken for your health if you become unable to make decisions. A Guide to Maryland Law on Health Care Decisions
  • Reporting Abuse - Please contact the Carroll County Department of Social Services to make any reports of abuse or neglect. 410-386-3434
  • Guardianship Handbook