Guardianship Attorney in Houston, TX
Texas is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of guardianship laws in the United States. Guardianship law in Houston governs the rights and obligations of those who are responsible for the care of a minor or an adult that is incapacitated due to mental illness, physical disability, Alzheimer’s disease, or otherwise incompetent to handle their own affairs. Houston’s guardianship laws are designed to protect the interests of the incapacitated person (the proposed ward), their family members, and the general public.
Under the Texas Estates Code, there are various different types of guardianships that can be established depending on the situation. For example, a guardian may be appointed to manage an individual's property and assets, or they may be responsible for overseeing medical decisions and providing necessary healthcare services such as physical therapy, nursing care, and physician visits. Additionally, another type of guardian may be appointed to ensure general well-being, like providing food, shelter, and clothing needs.
Frequently Asked Question
What is the guardianship law in Texas?
In the state of Texas, guardianship law is governed by the Texas Estates Code. The code sets out the roles and responsibilities of a guardian, the court’s authority to grant legal guardianship, and the criteria for determining when someone requires a guardian. It also outlines the duties and obligations of a guardian, including ensuring the ward’s safety and well-being, protecting their assets, and making decisions in their best interests.
How many different types of guardianship are in Houston?
In Houston and elsewhere in Texas, the guardianship procedure is governed by state law and can be arranged for minors as well as adults. Before guardianship will be granted, a court will give due reference between the balance to the proposed ward’s safety and the proposed ward’s rights and dignity. Adult guardianship may involve receiving authority over the ward's personal care decisions, such as medical care and housing; guardians of minors may make educational and medical decisions on behalf of the child. A guardian also has the right to make decisions about the incapacitated person’s financial affairs, including paying bills and managing any investments. In Houston, there are different forms of guardianship:
Full guardianship: In this type of guardianship, the court appoints a guardian to manage the daily affairs of the incapacitated person. The guardian is given full authority under the Texas Estates code to act on the behalf of the incapacitated person or ward.
Limited guardianship: This type of guardianship is often used when a person is not able to fully manage their own affairs but is still able to make some decisions on their own. The guardian will gain authority to make decisions on the ward’s behalf in the limited areas where the ward is unable to, and the ward will still retain other rights to make decisions on their own where they are able to.
In guardianships, Texas Courts prefer to grant guardianships only to the extent one is necessary. Thus, whether a court will grant full guardianship or limited guardianship will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case and the capacity of the proposed ward.
How can one establish guardianship in Houston?
The guardianship process begins with a petition filed in the county court in the county where the ward lives. Once filed, then all necessary parties must be served on the petition for guardianship over the proposed ward, including family members and those affected by the petition. The petitioner – usually a family member, friend, or professional – must provide evidence that the ward is unable to make their own decisions or manage their own affairs. Depending on the circumstances, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem, who will investigate the petition and make a recommendation to the court.
Once the guardianship is granted, the guardian has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the ward and to perform their duties in good faith. The guardian is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the ward and managing their assets. Depending on the ward’s needs, a guardian may be responsible for providing medical treatment, paying bills, and filing taxes.
Who can be a legal guardian in Houston?
In Texas, anyone who is at least 18 years old and has not been found to be mentally incapacitated can serve as a legal guardian. This includes close relatives such as parents or siblings of the ward, as well as other individuals like friends or family members who are interested in assuming responsibility for someone else’s care.
As part of the application process, potential guardians will need to provide proof of identity and residence within the state of Texas before filing with their local county court. Guardianship can be granted by the courts in either a permanent or temporary capacity. Permanent guardianship requires proof of a valid guardianship bond, which is a guarantee of the guardian's financial responsibility.
In order to be eligible to serve as a guardian, an individual must also have no criminal record and prove that they are of good character. This can include verifying that the person has a stable job, has an adequate amount of resources to provide for the person they are caring for, and does not have a history of abusing or neglecting the incapacitated adult or minor child they are caring for. Finally, an individual must also have no conflicts of interest that would prevent them from properly caring for the person.
How can our guardianship lawyers help?
As a guardianship lawyer in Houston, it’s important to understand the city’s unique laws around guardianship and how they affect people living in Harris County. One of the most important things our guardianship lawyers can do for you is to provide you with personalized legal advice. Whether you need help with the legalities of setting up a guardianship or you need guidance on how to enforce the guardianship agreement, we can help.
When someone is unable to make decisions for themselves due to age, disability, or illness, our guardianship lawyer can help create a system of support. Through their knowledge and skill, they can ensure that all legal requirements are met, making sure that all appropriate paperwork has been filed with the courts and that the guardianship proceedings go as planned.
Our attorney can also handle matters such as wills, financial transactions, trusts, and more. We can help you understand the laws that govern guardianship in Texas and provide you with the best advice for your situation.