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Statutes Text

Article - Estates and Trusts


    (a)    Persons are entitled to appointment as guardian of the person according to the following priorities:

        (1)    A person, agency, or corporation nominated by the disabled person if the disabled person was 16 years old or older when the disabled person signed the designation and, in the opinion of the court, the disabled person had sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent choice at the time the disabled person executed the designation;

        (2)    A health care agent appointed by the disabled person in accordance with Title 5, Subtitle 6 of the Health – General Article;

        (3)    The disabled person’s spouse;

        (4)    The disabled person’s parents;

        (5)    A person, agency, or corporation nominated by the will of a deceased parent;

        (6)    The disabled person’s children;

        (7)    Adult persons who would be the disabled person’s heirs if the disabled person were dead;

        (8)    A person, agency, or corporation nominated by a person caring for the disabled person;

        (9)    Any other person, agency, or corporation considered appropriate by the court; and

        (10)    (i)    For adults less than 65 years old, the director of the local department of social services or, for adults 65 years old or older, the Secretary of Aging or the director of the area agency on aging, except in those cases where the department of social services has been appointed guardian of the person before age 65; and

            (ii)    On appointment as guardian under item (i) of this item, directors of local departments of social services, directors of area agencies on aging, and the Secretary of Aging may delegate responsibilities of guardianship to staff persons whose names and positions have been registered with the court.

    (b)    (1)    A person specified in a priority in subsection (a)(2), (3), (5), or (6) of this section may waive and nominate in writing a person, agency, or corporation to serve in the person’s stead.

        (2)    A nominee of a person holding priority has the same priority as the person making the nomination.

    (c)    (1)    (i)    Among persons with equal priority the court shall select the one best qualified of those willing to serve.

            (ii)    For good cause, the court may pass over a person with priority and appoint a person with a lower priority.

        (2)    If a guardian of the estate has been appointed, the court may select the guardian of the estate to be guardian of the person, regardless of priority.

    (d)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, nonresidence does not disqualify any person from serving as guardian of the person.

        (2)    A nonresident who is appointed may not qualify until the nonresident files with the register or clerk an irrevocable designation by the nonresident of an appropriate person who resides in the State on whom service of process may be made in the same manner and with the same effect as if it were served personally in the State on the nonresident.

    (e)    A local department of social services, local office on aging, or the Secretary of Aging, may be appointed as a guardian of a person regardless of whether that person resides in a State or private residential facility.

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