Whom do you trust to make decisions for yourself when you cannot due to mental or physical obstacles? In a Texas probate court, guardianship is created to monitor a person (also known as a ward) who is incapable of making decisions for their physical health or personal affairs.
Our probate attorneys in McAllen understand this may be difficult, but we firmly believe in planning for unforeseen circumstances. We can help you pre-designate a guardian in an estate plan, submit the proper paperwork to file for guardianship with a county court, and help advocate your rights.
What is Guardianship
A probate court will appoint a person to be a guardian to any ward (typically an adult) who is considered legally incapable. This guardian will take over the ward’s rights and make decisions for their physical and mental well-being. This can include any responsibility from preparing their food, clothing, and shelter to overseeing their financial affairs.
What are a Guardian’s Responsibilities?
A probate court determines that someone is legally incapacitated or unable to care for themselves, and this court will also choose a guardian for them.
Guardianship responsibilities can include, but are not limited to:
- Filing an inventory of the ward’s assets
- Managing the estate assets to the ward’s best interests.
- Taking an oath to assure they will fulfill their guardian duties.
- Agreeing in court to be held responsible if their negligence leads to the ward’s financial losses.
- Providing clothes, food, education, and medical care to the extent of the ward’s finances.
- Filing an annual account detailing the estate’s receipts and disbursements during the year.
- Asking for the court’s permission and approval for some actions taken on behalf of the ward.
What are the Different Types of Guardianships
There are four different types of guardianships available in Texas:
- Temporary or emergency guardianship until the probate court makes a decision.
- Guardianship of person and estate, responsible for managing the ward’s care and property.
- Full or limited guardianship of the estate responsible for managing the ward’s property and financial affairs.
- Full or limited guardianship providing care for the ward’s supervision, food, clothing, shelter, and medical treatment.
According to Texas law, there is an occasion where two separate guardians can be appointed by a probate court for a ward’s care and their estate separately. A probate court will determine this based on the ward’s best interest.
How do You Become a Guardian?
A probate court generally appoints guardianship to family members over non-family members. However, you can always request Fryer and Hansen, your probate attorneys in McAllen, to include a guardianship role in your estate plan.
The guardianship process involves the following:
- Our probate attorney in McAllen is filing a guardianship application with a county court.
- A doctor must evaluate the ward and certify that they are legally incapacitated.
- The ward must be personally given the application.
- Other ‘interested persons,’ such as relatives, need to be notified.
- An attorney ad litem (an attorney assigned by a county court) represents the ward’s best interests.
- If approved and appointed, a guardian must sign under oath that they will perform the legal duties and post a bond with the court.
- Then a guardian will renew their letter of guardianship annually to uphold their guardianship role.
Contact our Probate Attorneys in McAllen
If you want absolute control over who will be a guardian, or you need representation to request guardianship for a loved one, our probate attorneys in McAllen can help. Contact us today and read our online reviews to learn about your options. Get a free consultation today when you call (956) 686-6606.