If you have questions about setting up a guardianship in Texas, the attorneys at the Sawyer Law Firm PLLC in Fort Worth, Texas, can help.
Our firm has significant experience in these legal matters, and we can provide you with helpful information about becoming a guardian or establishing a guardianship.
What is a guardian?
A guardian is a person who is chosen to make decisions for an individual who is not capable of making decisions for him or herself.
What do guardians do?
Guardians are appointed to manage an individual’s financial matters or personal needs. Guardianships often are used for minors, the elderly and incapacitated adults.
What types of guardianships are there in Texas?
Texas statutes allow for two types. A guardian of the person manages the personal interests of another person (health care, for example). A guardian of the estate manages another person’s financial interests.
The same person (if he or she is qualified) can serve as both guardian of the person and guardian of the estate.
Does the incapacitated person get to choose the guardian?
It depends. Texas law reads, “Before appointing a guardian, the court shall make a reasonable effort to consider the incapacitated person’s preference of the person to be appointed guardian.”
For guardianships, what is the definition of “minor” in Texas?
A minor is anyone under the age of 18.
For guardianships, what is the definition of “incapacitated” in Texas?
“Incapacitated” generally means (1) a minor or (2) an adult who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to (a) provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself; (b) care for the person’s own physical health; or (c) manage the person’s own financial affairs.
The courts determine whether an individual is legally incapacitated. The reasons for incapacity can include illness, injury and substance abuse.
Who is likely to be appointed guardian?
The court will look to the family first to determine if there is anyone qualified to serve as guardian. A family member is often the best choice to serve, because that person will be familiar with the history of care for the family member.
Choosing a non-family member can be an option for guardian, especially when it is necessary to manage the financial affairs of the proposed incapacitated person. Some families choose an attorney or other professional to serve in this role.
I cannot afford a guardian. What are my options?
In Tarrant County, Texas, there is a volunteer guardian organization that in some cases will serve as guardian of the person. Also, in some cases the county pays the legal fees.
Why should I hire a lawyer for this?
At Sawyer Law Firm PLLC, our attorneys can explain your options, set up a guardianship and also represent you if you are appointed as guardian of the estate.
Our lawyers have decades of experience with guardianships will ensure the guardianship complies with the law. We know how the process works, including court requirements, deadlines and other issues.