Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas Guardianships: The Steps

Guardianship is a legal process to protect an incapacitated individual from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Guardianship provides for the person's care and management of assets.

The individual who needs to be protected is called a "ward." The person who is court-appointed to assist the ward is called a "guardian." There are two types of guardians.

A Guardian of the Person takes care of the physical well-being of a ward, and a Guardian of the Estate takes care of a ward's property. A guardian is appointed by a judge after a legal proceeding. Often both a guardian of person and a guardian of estate are appointed, and this may be the same person.

The steps involved in becoming a court-appointed guardianship include:

Filing an application with the court requesting that a qualified guardian be appointed.

Serving the application to the proposed ward.

Notifying the proposed ward's relatives.

Obtaining a physician’s statement on nature and degree of the proposed ward's incapacity.

Holding a hearing before a judge to determine whether a guardianship is necessary.

Qualifying the guardian, taking an oath, and receiving letters of guardianship.

Guardianships may be contested by the ward or another individual.

Guardianships may be temporary, in an emergency. These are intense, quick, and limited guardianships.

Guardianships are often permanent. They are 'permanent,' but the court reviews them annually to safeguard the care and rights of the ward.


About Lisa C Smith

Attorney Lisa C. Smith believes that many legal problems can be resolved by working out agreements, legal documents, and creative solutions for businesses and families. Her goal is to provide quality legal representation with personal service and respect.

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