Guardianship: to protect your loved one
Guardianship is a court proceeding where an adult person is found to be incapacitated or a minor child needs adult supervision due to the death or illness of their parents, and a court appoints a legal guardian to make decisions for that person and/or for that person’s estate. In order to legally become the guardian of a child or an incapacitated adult you will first need to retain an experienced Texas probate attorney who can assist in the completion of your Application for Guardianship.
In the State of Texas, the following are the two types of legal guardianship:
Guardianship of the Person
When an individual is legally assigned as the guardian of a person, they are typically in charge of any and all matters pertaining to the incapacitated person’s body, which may include, but is not limited to, decisions that pertain to where the incapacitated person will live and the type of medical care that the incapacitated person will receive.
Guardianship of the Estate
An individual who is appointed as the guardian of an estate will be responsible for all aspects of the incapacitated person’s finances. Included in the duties of the guardian of an estate is paying the incapacitated person’s bills on time as well as managing their income and assets in a responsible and safe manner.
When is a guardian needed?
Here are some common circumstances where a guardian is needed.
- A person becomes incapacitated, usually due to age-related dementia or strokes, and another family member or interested person needs to be able to gain access to their loved one’s financial assets so they can pay that person’s bills and probably admit them to a residential care facility.
- A child with an intellectual disability turns 18, at which point their parent no longer has legal control without an additional court order.
- A minor is gifted property, usually by an inheritance. A minor does not have the legal capacity to open a bank account, and if insurance proceeds or other assets are left directly to the minor, without some sort of trust or other mechanism, then a guardian will need to be appointed to handle and receive that gift to the minor.