The Process of Seeking Legal Guardianship
Frisco Guardianship Lawyer
When a judge appoints someone as a guardian it means the state is taking away the decision making rights of one person (the “ward”) and giving them to another person (the “guardian”). The court does not do this lightly.
There is a process in place to determine whether guardianship is needed and whether the person seeking to become a guardian is fit to take on that role. All of the parties in a guardianship case are required to have legal representation.
Our Frisco guardianship lawyers represent people seeking to become guardians to an adult or a child. We have extensive experience in guardianship matters.
We are equally prepared to represent family members contesting the fitness of someone seeking to become a guardian for another family member, as well as adults contesting the need for guardianship.
The Process of Applying for Guardianship
- Filing an application for guardianship
- Notice is sent to all involved parties or facilities
- An attorney ad litem is appointed to represent the proposed ward
- The attorney meets with the ad litem attorney
- If the basis for seeking guardianship is physical or mental incapacity of an adult, a medical evaluation in the form of a doctor’s letter will be required. It should come from the prospective ward’s medical doctor and must be based on medical evidence and the doctor’s direct experience with their patient. If the person does not have a personal doctor, the court can be asked to appoint a doctor for an independent medical evaluation (IME). This evaluation is a formal procedure that takes 2-3 hours to complete.
- A hearing before the probate court judge
- The judge’s order establishing or denying guardianship
Often times, the appointment of a guardian is just an administrative procedure. That said, legal disputes can and do arise in the process of seeking guardianship and even after guardianship has been established.
One of the more common guardianship disputes is disagreement among adult children over who will be appointed guardian of a parent suffering mental decline. The concern may be with the fitness of the person asking to become the guardian, or it may arise out of concerns that the person will mis-spend or steal money or in some other manner fail to fulfill their fiduciary duty. We handle estate litigation in such cases.
The other guardianship disagreement comes from a proposed ward who does not wish to lose his or her rights.
- Does the person suffer from mental illness or is he or she merely eccentric?
- Is the proposed ward truly experiencing a serious impairment in the activities of daily life? To what degree is the impairment an inconvenience or truly serious?
- Is it a continual impairment or occasional impairment? Is the impairment expected to worsen?
- Are there less restrictive alternatives for handling a temporary or permanent impairment?
Learn More About Legal Guardianship in North Texas
Discuss your concern with a highly experienced guardianship attorney at Albin Oldner Law, PLLC. We can represent any party in a guardianship dispute. We serve clients in McKinney, Celina, Allen, and communities throughout Denton County.