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A person may need the appointment of a guardian if the person is a minor without a natural guardian (e.g. a parent), a minor who is receiving a sum of money, or an adult, who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, to care for the individual's own physical health, or to manage the individual's own financial affairs. In Texas, there are two different types of guardians - guardian of the person and guardian of the estate. A Probate Court Judge can appoint a single qualified person to be both or can appoint a single qualified person as guardian of the person and a different single qualified person to be the guardian of the estate. There are also professional guardianship companies who have persons on staff who are able, for a fee of course, to act as a guardian for another.
Typically, guardianship is sought for elderly individuals, usually a member of a client's family, who, because of age, are unable to care for themselves anymore and need someone to have legal authority to make decisions for them and to manage their money. In Texas, the cost of the legal proceedings and attorneys' fees incurred to become guardian, sole long as the proceedings are brought in good faith and with reasonable cause, will be paid (or reimbursed from) the incapacitated person's assets.
We also come across, far too often than we'd like, the cases in which an older person is being physically or financially exploited. Guardianship can be a great option for a court to declare a contract void for lack of legal capacity or declare void, for the same reason, lack of capacity, "gifts" made to "friends" or "family".
Though guardianship is a powerful and great legal avenue to protect another, Texas Courts are becoming more demanding to the least restrict alternatives. Therefore, Courts will not grant a guardianship over another if there are other solutions, like an agent under a power of attorney or in-home care, which satisfy the protections for the incapacitated person without legally declaring the person incapacitated. It is also important to understand that guardianship administration is an on-going relationship with the court. Annual financial disclosures and care reports must be made to the court which are costly and sometimes invasive to both the incapacitated person and the guardian.
However, by the same token, the vast majority of guardians we represent find great honor and joy being able to ensure their loved one receives the best care, treatment, and protections they can afford.
For more information on Guardianship or to set up a free initial consultation on Guardianship, please do not hesitate to call, 210-701-0829, or email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, today.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
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