Many families may worry about a loved one’s ability to care for themselves, make sound financial decisions, maintain their independence, and seek ways to protect their loved one’s interests. Guardianship for the person may be a viable choice. A guardianship attorney, can help you understand this option and how it can work for your family.
How to Establish a Guardianship for Your Loved One
A guardian is a legal representative of another person, appointed by a court to care for the personal needs of another person or to make financial decisions on their behalf, or both. Texas guardianship regulations restrict the person’s rights. Therefore the guardianship process has strict guidelines in order to protect the agency and independence of the potential ward, the person for whom a guardian would be appointed.
One form of guardianship is a limited guardianship, in which the guardian works with their ward to make sound financial decisions, protect their interests and investments, and ensure that their daily needs are met, such as paying for rent, bills, food, and medical care. A limited guardianship may also take care of personal care, such as helping the ward with the activities of daily living (self-care, grooming, taking care of the home). Full guardianship gives control over both aspects, personal and financial, to the guardian. The guardian would therefore be entirely responsible for the well-being of their ward.
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How Does the Texas Guardianship Process Work?
In order to prove that your family member or loved one requires a guardian, you will have to have them undergo a medical evaluation, including their ability to make responsible financial decisions and their physical ability to care for themselves and advocate for their health care decisions. The results of the evaluation are necessary for the court.
Once someone submits a guardianship application for another, the person for whom the guardianship is requested will be served with legal documents. At that point, the potential ward may wish to hire their own guardianship attorney, to represent them and their interests. The legal representative of the potential ward is called the attorney ad litem.
Both the potential guardian and the ward appear in court unless the ward is medically or otherwise unable to. Then, any relevant documents, such as the medical exam, are presented, and the person seeking guardianship will testify why they believe the other individual’s guardianship is necessary.
The guardianship process is three essential steps:
Submit a guardianship application to the court
Attend a hearing before a judge to establish that a guardianship is necessary
The judge appoints the guardian
Our law firm works with families in Allen to understand their options to protect their loved one’s interests, including guardianship. We can walk you through the process and help you understand what will happen.
Why Do I Need a Guardianship Attorney?
Guardianship lawyers help you prepare for the hearing and advise you during the process, including helping you collect the correct documents and submit them on time. They’ll also explain the fiduciary responsibilities for your ward.
How Do I Choose an Allen Guardianship Attorney?
A good guardianship attorney should have a few critical qualifications in order to best represent you and your family:
- They should be experts in elder law and the guardianship process
- Able to help you feel comfortable about your decision
- Communicate promptly and answer your questions
- Advocate for your family’s and loved one’s interests
Attorney Christene “Chris” Krupa Downs has a decade of experience working with elder care and guardianship law. Trust our firm to put your family and loved ones’ needs first.
Learn more from an Allen Probate Attorney
Estate planning is a good way to protect your own interests as well as the legacy you wish to pass to your heirs and beneficiaries. Krupa Downs Law, PLLC, Allen, Texas probate attorney, has more information on how these different parts of an estate plan can help.