It can be hard to worry about your adult or elderly loved ones. You may be unsure if they are able to handle the responsibilities and tasks of day-to-day life.
Age, disease, or sudden injury can all impact your family member’s ability to care for themselves.
While you want to respect their independence, you may also worry about their safety. Guardianships in Texas are a possible way to make sure your loved one is protected and cared for.
What Is a Guardianship?
In Texas, guardianship is a legal relationship in which the person who is the guardian acts as another person’s caretaker. This person is called a ward. A court may appoint a guardian for someone who cannot manage certain essential aspects of their life on their own. There are two different types of Texas guardianships.
Guardian of the Person
A guardian of the person makes decisions about a ward’s health, social contacts, and living arrangements. This type of guardian is responsible for any non-financial decision about the ward’s life. Things like where the ward should live and what type of medical treatment they should receive fall under this umbrella. Even decisions such as who the ward has social contact with can be subject to the guardian’s discretion.
Legal guardianship in Texas can also include a limited guardianship, in which the guardian can control only certain aspects of the ward’s life. A court will describe which decisions a guardian can make in the guardianship orders.
Guardian of the Estate
Texas guardianship laws also provide for a guardian of the estate. This type of guardian is responsible for handling the ward’s money, assets, and other financial affairs.
The guardian of the estate uses the ward’s money to cover the ward’s expenses. The ward is still responsible for any debts they incur either before or after the guardianship is established. A guardian has the ability to make decisions ranging from paying routine bills to selling assets.
A guardian of the estate can also hold a limited guardianship. For example, the guardian may only be in charge of day-to-day financial matters as part of a legal guardianship in Texas. A ward may have a guardian of both their person and their estate. These may be different individuals or the same person.
How to Establish Guardianships in Texas
To establish a guardianship in Texas for adults, the person who wishes to become the guardian has to file an application for guardianship with the court. The ward must be served with the application and can hire an attorney.
The court can also appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the ward’s interests. Before approving a guardianship, the court will need to see medical records verifying that the proposed ward does, in fact, need assistance managing their affairs. The court will hold a hearing at which the proposed guardian will testify as to why the court should establish a guardianship.
Should I Talk to an Attorney?
If you are thinking about a guardianship for an elderly relative in Texas, you should talk to a lawyer. A lawyer can discuss alternatives to a guardianship and help you decide whether a guardianship is necessary for your loved one. The family law attorneys at The Larson Law Office are ready to answer all your questions about Texas guardianships.
Worrying about a relative’s safety is hard. Call us today to start seeking protection for them and peace of mind for yourself.