What do you do if your grandfather, who lives alone and can no longer cook for himself, won’t leave his home for a nursing home or assisted living facility?
What do you do if your aunt can no longer manage her finances but seems capable of caring for herself in her small apartment?
These questions and others are answered in the new edition of the Guardianship Handbook .
The Law & Health Care Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the Delivery of Legal Services Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Assoc. have published a guide to help both laypeople and attorneys navigate adult guardianship in Maryland. Guardianship and Its Alternatives: A Handbook on Maryland Law was originally written by UM Carey Law Professor Joan O’Sullivan, a champion for the legal rights of the elderly, who passed away in 2007.
The 2011 Edition was revised and updated by Virginia Rowthorn, managing director of the Law & Health Care Program, and Ellen Callegary, a prominent elder law and disability lawyer in Maryland.
Callegary, a 1978 graduate of UM Carey Law and a member of the Alumni Board, is a founding partner of the Baltimore law firm of Callegary & Steedman, P.A and has a long history of involvement in disability and elderly issues. During her ten years as an assistant attorney general for Maryland, she worked directly with two attorneys general advising state agencies on matters related to the rights of persons with disabilities and serving as principal counsel for the Department of Juvenile Services. She also serves as an adjunct professor of law at UM Carey Law, where she most recently taught the Civil Right of Persons with Disabilities Seminar.
Rowthorn, who has worked for DLA Piper and the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and served as a Legislative Assistant on the US Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, teaches the Health Law Workshop and directs the Health Law Externship Program.
The impetus for the updated handbook was various changes in guardianship law over the last two decades and a realization by elder law and disability lawyers on the Delivery of Legal Services Section Council that there is a great need for practical, easy-to-read advice regarding guardianship for elderly and disabled Maryland residents.
Suzanne Sangree, chief solicitor at the Baltimore City Department of Law, and past chair of the Delivery of Legal Services Section Council, and Yoanna Moisides, Assistant Director of Advocacy for Training and Pro Bono at Maryland Legal Aid and current chair of the section council, also wanted a handbook that set forth a comprehensive list of alternatives to the formal guardianship process, a time-consuming and sweeping process that may not always be necessary to address a number of problems associated with lack of decision-making capacity.
Supported by funds from the Law & Health Care Program, the Rueben Shiling Mental Health Law Fund, the Dr. Richard H. Heller Fund, and the Maryland Bar Foundation, the handbook is available free of charge to attorneys and laypeople throughout the state. All or portions of the handbook can be duplicated and distributed without charge with proper attribution to the UM Carey Law’s Law & Health Care Program and the Maryland State Bar Association.