Texas Guardianship Attorneys
Appointing a Guardian of Your Estate
A guardianship is a crucial legal tool that allows one person or entity to make decisions for an adult who can no longer take care of himself/herself because of a mental or physical disability or incapacity. This process requires hiring an attorney who is authorized by the court to handle guardianship proceedings. Appointing a guardian is necessary when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence. Because establishing a guardianship may remove considerable rights from an individual, it should only be considered after alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable.
When the court appoints a guardian of the person, the guardian may have the following responsibilities:
- Determine and monitor residence
- Make all decisions about medical treatment as well as non-medical services such as education and counseling
- Control the release of confidential information
- Make end-of-life decisions
- Act as representative payee
- Maximize independence in the least restrictive manner
- Report to the court about the guardianship status at least annually
When the court appoints a guardian of the estate, the guardian is assigned the following responsibilities:
- Manage and protect assets
- Obtain appraisals of property (if necessary)
- Protect property and assets from loss
- Receive income for the estate
- Make appropriate disbursements (pay bills)
- Obtain court approval prior to selling any asset
- Provide an Inventory and Accounting to the Court, usually on an annual basis
A good guardian will take into account the wishes and desires of the person under guardianship when making decisions about residence, medical treatments, and end-of life decisions. The courts will remove only those rights that the proposed person under guardianship is incapable of handling.
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