In Texas, the courts can appoint a guardian to care for an incapacitated person, a minor, or an estate. This assignment of legal responsibility is called a guardianship. Specific procedures are in place to make sure a guardian is needed and to then assign a person to be that guardian. Undergoing these procedures without legal representation is highly discouraged, due to their complexity. Many courts will not review guardianship applications filed by people who are not lawyers.
If you are interested in establishing or wish to contest a guardianship, Rainey & Rainey can help. Our Waco guardianship lawyers are experienced with these proceedings and can help you take the appropriate measures to seek a swift and favorable result.
Call our offices at (254) 826-8151 to learn more.
Guardian of the Person
To establish a guardian for a person in Texas, you need to:
- Prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person who needs a guardian (the ward) is incapacitated. Minors under the age of 18 are automatically considered incapacitated because they cannot care for and provide for themselves. Incapacity in an adult typically involves a physical or mental disability that renders one unable to care for oneself.
If incapacity is proven, the court will appoint a guardian. The court will assign a guardian based off a priority list, typically based off the closest relatives. If more than one person of the same priority pursues guardianship, the court will appoint the person it believes is more qualified to act as guardian.
Guardian of the Estate
Depending on the situation, two different guardians may be appointed, one for the ward and one for the ward’s estate. Or, a single person will act as guardian for both the ward and his or her estate. A guardian of the estate is a fiduciary, meaning they have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the estate. The guardian of the estate actually has to post a bond with the court, as assurance that the guardian will uphold his or her fiduciary duties.
Due to the complexity of guardianship, power of attorney, and other incapacity planning issues, it is important to involve a Waco guardianship attorney who can help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Whether you need to establish a guardianship or want to know what options you have in contesting a guardianship, we can help. Call Rainey & Rainey at (254) 826-8151 today!