Houston Guardianship Attorney in Texas
If you are a Texas resident, and are having difficulty understanding the proper procedures for appointing a guardian to handle your affairs, then you should hire our Houston guardianship attorney. At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law, we have experience handling every stage of Texas’ complex guardianship laws. With over three decades of experience, we are well-versed in the rules governing the guardianship process and can provide you with sound legal advice for your unique situation.
If you want a trusted legal advisor who can handle your guardianship matter effectively, call us today or complete our online form for a consultation.
Why Do I Need A Guardianship Lawyer in Houston, TX?
A guardianship is created to protect someone unable to take care of themselves. Some people need help making decisions and managing their daily affairs because of their age, injury, or disease. If this happens, a court of law may appoint a guardian for them. A Houston guardianship attorney can help you with this process.
What is guardianship?
If you are responsible for a minor or an aging parent or family member who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves, it might be appropriate to utilize a guardianship. A guardianship is a legal arrangement where an appointed guardian is granted the legal right to make financial, medical and/or personal decisions for the ward.
If you are considering a guardianship or are being considered as a potential guardian, it is important that you understand what this process entails. Give our Houston guardianship attorney a call to learn more about guardianship and the responsibilities of being a guardian.
What is the role of a guardian?
A legal guardian will take care of the ward, or the individual who needs special protection and guidance. A guardian has the authority to legally make decisions for the ward and manage their ward’s financial and personal affairs. In Texas, the process of appointing a legal guardian includes:
- Filing a petition in a Texas court
- Having a hearing in court
- Having a judge appoint a legal guardian, if needed
If you want to know more about how guardianship works in Texas, don’t hesitate to connect with one of our experienced Houston guardianship attorneys. We’d gladly help and give you legal advice.
What are the types of guardianship in Texas?
Under Texas Estates Code, the court can establish different types of guardianship, such as:
- Guardianship for the person
- Guardianship for the estate
- Guardianship for both person and the estate
- Guardianship for minors.
A legal guardianship is only granted if the court finds that the proposed ward cannot make decisions for themselves due to a physical condition or mental illness.
Guardianship for Minors
Under Texas law, a court may appoint a legal guardian to take care of a minor if they see the need for it. A court may assign guardianship if:
- Both parents abandoned the minor
- Both parents have passed away
- Both parents aren’t capable of providing care for the child.
Who determines the guardian for a minor?
The court may assign guardianship to a family friend, relative, or someone the court may feel will act according to the child’s best interest. As the child’s legal guardian, the court grants custody of the child. They may also manage the child’s financial affairs and exercise control over the child’s properties and assets.
If you need help processing a guardianship for a minor don’t hesitate to give us a call. Talk to a Houston guardianship attorney.
What are the responsibilities of a guardian for a minor?
The responsibilities may differ depending on whether you are a appointed as a guardian of the person, of the estate, or both.
You are responsible for the child’s care and needs.
Anyone with the legal custody of a child is responsible for providing for the child’s needs. This includes ensuring that the child has clothing, shelter, food, proper education, and healthcare. You are also responsible for making decisions about the child’s education and medical care. As mandated by the court, the appointed guardian maintains custody of the child until they reach legal age or until the court decides that the child doesn’t need guardianship.
However, a minor’s parents are still legally required to support the child financially.
You are responsible for managing the child’s estate and finances.
If the child owns a significant amount of property or money, a judge appoints a guardian of the estate to maintain and preserve the child’s properties and assets. Also called a financial guardian, a guardian of the estate makes all monetary decisions for the child until they reach the age of eighteen or until the child’s assets are consumed.
What is a guardian ad litem?
A judge appoints an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the proposed ward. The court usually appoints a guardian ad litem when dealing with divorce cases, probate proceedings, or other cases of child neglect and abuse.
While guardianship is a last resort, it is still essential that the appointed guardian understands their role and responsibilities, putting the child’s interests before their own. For more information on how guardianship can benefit your child and your family, connect with a trusted Houston guardianship lawyer.
Guardianship for the Elderly or Incapacitated Individuals
A judge appoints a conservator or guardian to protect incapacitated or elderly individuals. Establishing adult guardianships may deprive someone of their individual rights; that is why we take certain legal steps before appointing a guardian.
Does the ward have a say in the legal process?
During the guardianship proceeding, the ward has the right to attend, face witnesses, and provide evidence in court. If a judge successfully appoints a legal guardian, the legal guardian is urged to respect the ward’s wishes and provide them with as much independence as possible. A guardianship of the incapacitated individual or elderly also entails guardianship of the estate, person, or both.
If you need help processing a guardianship for a loved one, don’t hesitate to talk to a Houston guardianship lawyer.
Medical Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian
Filing guardianship for an elderly or incapacitated individual involves taking care of the ward’s medical care. The legal guardian might be asked to monitor and consent to medical treatments, observe living conditions, health conditions, and make end-of-life preparations and decisions. When making decisions, the court expects the guardian to respect the ward’s desires and wishes and their financial and physical needs. The guardian will continue their duties until the court no longer requires them to or until the ward dies.
If you need help with a legal family concern, call our Houston family law attorneys today.
Financial Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian
The guardianship of the estate for the elderly or an incapacitated person involves taking responsibility for the ward’s assets and properties. The guardian must make financial decisions to protect and preserve the assets, manage the income, and obtain the appraisal of each property.
The court also requires the guardian to report about the status of the estate regularly. Similar to personal guardianship, financial guardianship will continue until the court determines that it’s no longer needed or until the ward passes away.
Are there alternatives to guardianship in Texas?
Since having a guardian involves taking away an individual’s rights, it should be the last resort in protecting the best interest of the ward. Before appointing a guardian, alternatives are usually explored first, such as:
- Finding a representative to help the individual manage their bills and finances
- Finding a representative to help the individual manage their case, including their personal affairs and healthcare directives
- Setting up trusts
- Durable powers of attorney for health care
- Enrolling the individual in community services
Once the court appoints a legal guardian, it is usually permanent. However, if the situation improves, a judge can revoke guardianship.
Guardianship is not something that we should take lightly. It is often permanent and can have significant effects on someone’s life. Our trustworthy Houston guardianship lawyers can help you explore your legal options. Contact our Texas family law firm today.
Speak with a Houston Guardianship Attorney Today!
A guardian has the authority to make decisions about someone’s healthcare treatment, financial affairs, residence, visitation schedules with friends and family, marriage, child-bearing, and more. Usually, the extent of the physical or mental incapacity of the ward to make their own decisions impacts these decisions.
The guardianship process isn’t something taken lightly because it affects an individual’s quality of life. You should know that you’re not alone in this process. At Chargois Harper, we have experienced Houston guardianship lawyers who can help you and give you legal advice. Call our Houston family law and divorce law firm today for an initial consultation.
We also assist in other family law and estate planning matters, including:
You can count on us to protect your interests and resolve your legal concerns in Texas & Illinois.
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