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Guardianship - legal duty to protect and care for another person - Law Office Of Aurelio Garza

When one of your loved ones is unable to care for or make decisions for themselves, appointing a guardian is one of the best ways to protect them and their future. But what exactly does a guardian do, and how can you establish a guardianship? If you are considering appointing a guardian for a family member, you likely have a lot of questions. This article will help you understand:

What Is A Guardianship In Texas? What Does A Guardian Do?

In Texas, a guardianship is a legal relationship established by the probate court. The guardian is given the authority and responsibility to care for another individual, the ward, who is unable to care for themselves due to a physical or mental disability.

The guardian's duties can encompass making decisions related to the ward's health, education, and well-being. Additionally, a guardian may also manage the ward's property, financial matters, and assets, depending on the scope of the guardianship order. Having a Power of Attorney will usually help avoid guardianship proceedings, but not always.

Is There A Difference Between A Conservator And A Guardian Under Texas Law?

In Texas, the term "conservator" is more commonly associated with family law. It refers to an individual who is assigned rights and duties concerning a child's care and decision-making.

On the other hand, a "guardian" pertains to probate law. It addresses the care and decision-making for an adult or minor who is incapacitated or unable to manage their affairs. While both roles entail responsibility for the well-being of another individual, they apply in different contexts and pertain to different legal scenarios.

How Do I Begin The Process Of Appointing Or Being Appointed A Guardian?

If you want to begin the process of appointing or being appointed a guardian in Texas, follow these steps:

  1. Consultation: You can start by consulting with an attorney experienced in guardianship matters to understand the legal requirements and process.
  2. Application: You should file an application for guardianship with the appropriate probate court in the county where the proposed ward resides.
  3. Medical or Psychological Evaluation: The potential ward usually undergoes a medical or psychological evaluation to determine the extent of their incapacitation.
  4. Attorney Ad Litem: The court will appoint an attorney ad litem, an independent attorney, to represent the best interests of the proposed ward during the proceedings.
  5. Hearing: A court hearing will be scheduled where evidence will be presented regarding the need for the guardianship. If the court finds that the individual is incapacitated and that a guardianship is necessary, it will appoint a guardian.
  6. Oath and Bond: The appointed guardian may be required to take an oath and post a bond, ensuring they will faithfully execute their duties.
  7. Letters of Guardianship: Once appointed, the guardian receives "Letters of Guardianship," an official document confirming their authority.

Who Makes Medical Decisions When A Guardian Is Appointed For Someone With A Healthcare Advance Directive?

If a guardian is appointed for an individual who has previously executed an advance directive for healthcare in Texas, the guardian generally has the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the ward. However, the guardian must respect the wishes expressed in the advance directive, as it reflects the individual's preferences when they were competent.

In scenarios where there is a conflict between the directive and the guardian's decision, the matter may need court intervention. A consultation with the treating physicians may also help determine the appropriate course of action in the ward's best interests.

For more information on Adult Guardianships In The State Of Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (956) 513-1117 today.

Aurelio Garza, Esq. - Estate Planning Lawyer - McAllen, TX

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