The topic of guardianship can be a difficult one for some families; however, it is an important one to address. Arranging for an adult guardianship through the services of a lawyer is made easier if the family understands the different meanings of guardianship and at what point someone is in need of having a guardian appointed.
What Is Guardianship?
Guardianship usually involves the court appointing an administrator or caretaker to oversee and care for an adult who is incapable of caring for themselves for many different reasons. Although most often thought of with an elderly person who is facing difficult health issues as part of aging, guardianship can involve adults of any age as well as children not yet of legal age who are unable to care for themselves. Health issues can vary from disabling health issues to incapacitating mental problems. In any case, it involves a person who is deemed unable to make proper decisions regarding themselves and often their estate.
There are two kinds of guardianship:
- Guardian of the Person – A guardian of the person (known as a ward) is appointed by the court to assist the incapacitated person by overseeing their health and well-being if it as been determined that they are unable to do so themselves.
- Guardian of the Estate – A guardian of the estate is someone appointed by the court to take care of a ward’s personal estate, if they are found to be incapable of making proper decisions for themselves.
In Texas, someone may be both the guardian of a ward and his or her estate. It is also sometimes possible for two different people to be appointed as guardians, one of the ward and the other of the ward’s estate.
When Guardianship Becomes Necessary
Making the decision that a loved one is in need of a guardian is a serious and highly emotional choice to have to make. When family members believe a guardianship may be necessary for a family member, the person involved may very well disagree with them or even become angry at the suggestion. Many people do not recognize that they are losing their ability to either care for themselves or make wise decisions about their estate. The idea of a guardianship can feel threatening, even though a guardianship is designed to protect them. Because of this, the process of assigning guardianship is actually quite complicated, a process that involves working with an experienced attorney to obtain a court order.
The Process of Assigning Guardianship
In order for person to be appointed as a guardian for a family member, they must first ask a lawyer to assist them with filing a legal action against the person in need of guardianship. Once this action is filed, the court requires various medical and mental examinations of the person in question to determine their health and mental capacity. There are other tests performed to determine whether or not a guardianship is actually warranted.
The person requesting the appointment as a guardian must be able to carry out a variety of legal responsibilities in order to be appointed, including the filing of annual accounting reports and the fulfillment of other legal duties.
Guardianship is a very sensitive, yet at times a very necessary consideration that many families in Texas may face. For the best advice about guardianship and help deciding if a person you love needs a guardian, it is important to speak to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about this process. An attorney experienced in guardianship handling can help families make this important decision and guide them through the legal process.
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526
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