What is an "interested person"?
In guardianship cases, interested persons are people affected when the court appoints a guardian for another person. They may petition for guardianship and can help the court by being the “eyes and ears” in a guardianship case. An interested person is entitled to certain court notifications and may become involved in the case. The court recognizes legally-defined classes of people as interested persons.
Who is an “interested person”?
It includes the minor or (alleged) disabled person and several other groups of people, including parents and adult children, siblings, and grandchildren. Spouses and other relatives are also interested persons. So is anybody who has assumed responsibility for the minor or (alleged) disabled person. Guardians, fiduciaries, and health care agents are interested persons, along with the local Department of Social Services (for adults under age 65) and Agency on Aging (adults 65 or older). Others who are interested persons:
- Government agencies paying benefits to the minor or (alleged) disabled person such as the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;
- Any person with an interest in the minor or (alleged) disabled person’s property;
- Others considered appropriate by the court.
I’m an interested person. What does that mean?
It means you are a party to the guardianship case. You may challenge the petition if you believe guardianship is unnecessary. You can also object to the person named as the proposed guardian. Read a handbook on Maryland guardianship and its alternatives. At the guardianship trial, you can call witnesses, present evidence, and ask the petitioner to provide information (through a process called discovery). If the court decides guardianship is needed, you can ask the court to set limits on what the guardian can do. Learn about a training on finding the right kind of supports for someone’s needs.
After the court appoints a guardian, you continue to be involved. You are entitled to notice about guardianship events, unless you waive that right. Use form CC-GN-039 to waive notice. Use form CC-GN-040 to revoke your waiver. You can ask for copies of annual reports or fiduciary’s accounts. You may also ask the court to require or increase a bond (insurance that protects the estate against mismanagement). Your involvement also includes asking the court to remove or replace the guardian. Use form CC-GN-034 to ask the court to remove a guardian.
You can also ask the court to address concerns about the guardian’s performance or the guardianship.
As the court’s “eyes and ears,” look for signs of abuse and neglect. Watch short videos on types and signs of abuse, signs of neglect, signs of self-neglect, and financial exploitation.
What should I do if I am worried about a person under guardianship?
If you think a guardian is not fulfilling their responsibilities, is mismanaging funds, or is not taking proper care of the person under guardianship’s personal or other needs, contact the court. You can also use form CC-GN-051 to ask the court to review the guardianship.
What should I do if a person under guardianship is in immediate danger?
Call 911. If you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation, contact Adult Protective Services or Child Protective Services or the police. Watch a video on responding to abuse or neglect.
Last updated: February 2022