Sadly, some individuals will become incapacitated because of an accident or illness. When a person is unable to provide personal care, make sound decisions, or manage finances, the court may need to intervene by appointing a guardian. Texas has specific laws that govern guardianships. A Texas Guardianship lawyer can help you file the necessary documents with the court to seek guardianship. If you are serving as a guardian, you may want to consult with a Texas Guardianships lawyer regarding your legal responsibilities and duties with regard to the care and upkeep of the protected person.
Guardianships in Texas
Below are answers from our Texas Guardianship lawyer to 10 common questions about guardianships in Texas:
- What is a guardian? – A guardian is a court-appointed person (the guardian) who is responsible for the care of another person (the ward) because the ward is unable to handle his or her own affairs because of a mental disease or impairment.
- What is a Guardian of the Person? – A Guardian of the Person makes decisions for the personal care of the ward. A full guardianship grants the guardian with authority to make decisions for the ward regarding matters including residence, medical care, psychological treatment, activities, religion, and other personal rights.
- What is a Guardian of the Estate? – A Guardian of the Estate is appointed to handle the ward’s financial affairs. The guardian may handle matters, including payment of bills, investing money, buying or selling property, and managing personal property. For some transactions, the guardian may be required to petition the court for approval before proceeding with the transaction.
- Can a Guardianship Be Limited? – Yes, the court can grant a limited guardian of the person or the estate. The court may grant the ward the right to make some decisions about his or her personal care, living arrangements, activities, and financial matters.
- Does the Guardian Submit Reports? – The guardian of the estate must submit periodic reports to the court accounting for the ward’s financial matters. The accounting details how the ward’s money and assets were used for the ward’s benefits throughout the year or other period set by the court.
- Can the Same Person Be Named as Guardian of the Person and Estate? – Yes, a court may appoint a guardian to serve in both roles. However, a court may also appoint different people for these roles.
- Can Guardianships Be Temporary? – In some cases, a person may need a temporary guardian to provide personal care and/or manage financial matters. The court may grant a temporary guardian for 60 days to handle certain matters for the ward. A temporary guardianship is not a permanent determination of incapacity. At the end of the 60 days, the guardian may apply for permanent guardianship if the conditions have not changed during the temporary period.
- Can a Guardianship Petition Be Challenged? – Yes, the ward may object to the petition for appointment of a guardian. A potential guardian must submit evidence of the incapacity to the court that is clear and convincing. The ward can challenge the petition and present evidence that refutes the allegations made by the party seeking appointment as guardian.
- Can A Guardian Be Removed? – The court can remove a guardian for several reasons. If the court finds that the ward’s condition and circumstances no longer warrant a guardian, the guardianship can be terminated. In addition, an interested party may petition the court to remove a guardian because of allegations of theft or misuse of the ward’s assets or money. A party may also petition the court to remove a guardian because of neglect, abuse, or other wrongdoing.
- What Court Has Jurisdiction of Guardianships in Texas? – The probate court has jurisdiction of matters related to guardianship of the person and the estate.
A Texas Guardianship Lawyer Can Make All The Difference
If you believe a loved one needs a court-appointed guardian or you need to file a challenge or dispute of guardianship, our Texas Guardianship lawyers can provide support, guidance, and legal counsel as you seek to protect the best interests of your loved one. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to schedule a consultation.