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:

  1. Determine and monitor residence
  2. Make all decisions about medical treatment as well as non-medical services such as education and counseling
  3. Control the release of confidential information
  4. Make end-of-life decisions
  5. Act as representative payee
  6. Maximize independence in the least restrictive manner
  7. 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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