Serving Clients in and around Sugar Land, TX
Guardianship in Texas
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Our firm offers specialized assistance in the intricate matters of guardianships, conservatorships, and other protective orders. We understand the sensitivity and complexity of these issues and are dedicated to providing empathetic and professional guidance throughout the process.
Why Guardianship is Needed?
Guardianship becomes necessary in several scenarios, commonly when parents have a child with a disability or when an adult child finds their aging parent unable to manage personal affairs. When a child with a disability turns eighteen, they are legally considered an adult, even if they are mentally incapable of making their own decisions. Similarly, if an elderly parent has not arranged durable medical and financial powers of attorney, an adult child may need legal authority to manage their parent’s affairs. In such cases, guardianship or conservatorship may be the most appropriate solution.
The Process of Obtaining Guardianship
Obtaining guardianship in Texas involves a court-ordered process, which typically includes:
- Filing the Petition: An “interested person” who cares about the welfare of the individual needing help (referred to as the ward), files a petition for guardianship.
- Appointment of a Attorney Ad Litem: The court appoints a visitor to meet with the proposed ward, explain the legal proceedings, and assess the individual’s feelings about the guardianship.
- Visitor’s Report: The court visitor files a report with recommendations regarding the appointment of a guardian.
- Court Hearing: A hearing is scheduled where the court considers evidence to determine if the individual is an “incapacitated person” and if their needs cannot be met in less restrictive ways.
Responsibilities of a Guardian
Once appointed, a guardian has various duties:
- Reporting to the Court: Guardians must file a report within 60 days of appointment and annually thereafter, detailing the ward’s health, care plan, and any other relevant information.
- Caring for the Ward: Decisions regarding the ward’s living arrangements, education, medical care, and basic needs fall under the guardian’s purview.
- Legal and Financial Responsibilities: Guardians are not personally liable for the ward’s financial needs but must act prudently and disclose their representative capacity in all dealings.
Guardians must adhere to Texas law, balancing their powers to foster the ward’s independence and self-esteem. Compensation for guardianship services can be sought from the ward’s funds, subject to the court’s approval of its fairness and reasonableness.
Guardianship typically ends with the ward’s death or can be terminated through a court order upon the request of the guardian or the ward. A court proceeding will be required to conclude the guardianship, after which the guardian is discharged from their duties and relieved of liabilities.
The guardianship process encompasses everything from appointment to serving and termination. Understanding and navigating these aspects is crucial for anyone considering guardianship or who has been appointed as a guardian. For those seeking guidance, representation, or information regarding guardianship, The Law Office of Christina Stroyick Brengel in Sugar Land, TX, is here to help. We also provide a range of related legal services, including estate planning, wills, and advanced directives. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in this important legal area.