A guardian is needed when a person is not able to make important decisions for him- or herself. For example, a guardian will be appointed to make decisions for a minor child in the absence of a parent. A guardian may be appointed to make medical and/or financial decisions for an adult who is incapacitated due to illness or mental deterioration.
The appointment of a guardian is made by a Texas judge following a specific guardianship process to establish that there is a need and that the person seeking to be a guardian is qualified to undertake the task. Even after the naming of a guardian, there will be ongoing reporting to the court to ensure the guardian is acting in the best interests of the “ward.”
Taking on a guardianship role is a challenging task that may require a lifetime commitment. But the rewards of caring for someone you love can make guardianship a worthwhile undertaking.
Our guardianship attorneys represent guardians and wards in probate court proceedings. We can guide you through the judicial process to establish guardianship of a minor child or a loved one who can no longer care for him or herself.
Establishing a guardianship plan when you create your estate plan can put your mind at ease. You can indicate in your Will who you want (and who you do not want) to be appointed as a guardian for your children. You will know that your loved one will be OK if you should unexpectedly die. You can also execute a Declaration of Guardian identifying who you want (and who you do not want) to be your guardian, in the event it ever becomes necessary.
A child who is under the age of 18 is considered a minor in Texas. Should a child’s parents no longer be able to perform their parental role — because of death, disability, imprisonment, addiction, or for other reasons — a family member or close friend may seek guardianship of the child. The guardian then has the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child.
An incapacitated person is an adult who is unable to care for her or himself because of a physical or mental condition. The court sets strict standards for incapacity and relies on a doctor’s evaluation.
The court generally prefers the least restrictive options when making a decision about whether a person needs a guardian. Someone who makes bad or self-destructive decisions, but can otherwise provide basic food, clothing and shelter for themselves, would not be considered incapacitated.
When you talk with our guardianship lawyer, he can explain in greater detail the criteria for incapacity and the process for seeking guardianship. He will review with you the types of guardianship available: guardianship of the person or guardianship of an estate. When appropriate, he may suggest alternatives to guardianship that still allow you to protect your loved one from harm, such as a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney or a Medical Power of Attorney
Guardianship of the person grants you authority to make personal decisions on behalf of a ward. The court order lists the types of decisions you are responsible for making, which may include medical and psychological treatments, medications, place of residence and interactions with family members. You have the duty to make decisions that are in the ward’s best interests.
Guardianship of the estate gives you responsibility over the ward’s financial affairs. This may include paying bills, buying and selling property or otherwise handling property in the ward’s best interests.
Talk to an experienced and dedicated estate planning lawyer at Albin Oldner Law, PLLC. We serve clients in McKinney, Celina, Allen and communities throughout Denton County