| Read Time: 3 minutes | Guardianship

Are you considering becoming a guardian for a loved one in Texas? Whether it’s your aging parent struggling with memory loss or your adult child with a disability, navigating guardianship can feel overwhelming. From filing a petition with the court to attending a hearing, there are several essential steps to follow.

We provide details on how to get guardianship in Texas to help you understand the process. 

Overview of Guardianship Types in Texas

Guardianship is a legal process that grants the guardian decision-making authority over another person, known as the ward. A ward is someone who is deemed incapable of making their own choices due to age or disability-related factors. 

There are two main types of people for whom guardianship might be necessary:

  • Guardianship of a minor—applies to children who have lost one or both parents or whose parents are deemed unfit to care for them; or
  • Guardianship of an incapacitated adult—applies to adults who, due to a mental or physical condition, are unable to manage their personal or financial affairs.

Guardianship may be established over the ward’s personal life, over their estate, or both as follows: 

  • Guardianship of the person—grants decision-making power regarding healthcare, living arrangements, and daily needs; and
  • Guardianship of the estate—deals with managing financial assets and property. 

Depending on the situation, you may seek one or both types of guardianship. 

When determining which type of guardianship is appropriate, it is important to consider the individual’s specific needs and circumstances carefully. 

Steps to Get Guardianship in Texas

If you wish to apply for guardianship, the process involves several crucial steps.

  • Consult with an attorney. Texas law recommends seeking legal counsel throughout the guardianship process. An experienced attorney can advise you on the specific steps for your case, ensure proper documentation, and represent you in court.
  • Filing an application. You’ll initiate the process by filing an Application for Guardianship with the county court in the ward’s county of residence or where their primary assets are located.
  • Doctor’s evaluation. A doctor must evaluate the ward. If the case concerns the guardianship of an adult, a doctor must certify their incapacity in writing.
  • Notice to Interested Parties. The court will notify the ward and other interested persons, such as family members, about the application using specific notification methods outlined in the Texas Estates Code.
  • Court Hearing. A hearing will be scheduled before a judge. Here, the petitioner—i.e., the person seeking guardianship—must present evidence demonstrating the ward’s incapacity and why guardianship is necessary. The ward will also have the opportunity to express their wishes.
  • Appointment of Guardian. If the judge grants the petition, they will appoint a guardian and specify the extent of their authority. This includes whether the guardian will have decision-making power over the ward’s person and estate.
  • Bond and Oath. The guardian may be required to file a bond with the court, guaranteeing they will fulfill their duties responsibly. They will also take an oath of office.
  • Ongoing Reporting. Guardians must typically submit annual reports to the court detailing their management of the ward’s person and estate.

Texas law allows close family members, trusted friends, or qualified professionals to petition for guardianship. The court will decide who can petition based on the ward’s best interests.

The Responsibilities of a Guardian

Becoming a guardian is a significant commitment. Guardians are responsible for making important decisions on behalf of their ward and ensuring their well-being. These responsibilities include:

  • Decision-making. You’ll make informed choices that prioritize the ward’s best interests and well-being. Such decisions usually center around the ward’s healthcare, living situation, and daily needs.
  • Financial management. If granted guardianship of the estate, you’ll carefully manage the ward’s finances and ensure the responsible use of their assets.
  • Regular reporting. Texas law mandates annual reports outlining the ward’s financial condition and well-being. Transparency is key.

The ward’s welfare must always come first, even when making difficult decisions.

Why You Should Consider a Guardianship Attorney

The guardianship process involves navigating complex legal terrain. An experienced attorney specializing in Texas guardianship law can be invaluable in guiding you through the complexities of the guardianship process. Here are some ways they can help:

  • Documents and procedures—a lawyer can guide you through filing petitions, gathering necessary documentation, and navigating court procedures;
  • Persuasive advocacy—legal counsel knows how to present arguments persuasively while safeguarding your rights and the ward’s best interests; and
  • Legal experience—guardianship matters can involve unforeseen legal complications and challenges that an experienced professional can anticipate and tackle effectively.

Having a skilled lawyer by your side can give you peace of mind, knowing you’re taking the right steps to protect your loved one.

File Your Texas Guardianship Application with Confidence. 

If you’re considering applying for guardianship in Texas, don’t hesitate to contact Robbins Estate Law. Our dedicated team has extensive experience guiding individuals through all aspects of guardianship applications. We work closely with you to prioritize the well-being of your loved one. 

Let our knowledgeable attorneys walk you through the process, providing a smooth and successful journey. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.

Author Photo

Kyle Robbins

Kyle Robbins is the founder and sole owner of The Law
Offices of Kyle Robbins. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.S. in Food Chemistry and Microbiology from Oklahoma State University.

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