In Texas, guardianship is a legal process designed to protect vulnerable or incapacitated people from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and all other forms of unfair treatment by assigning a trustee or a guardian-of-the-person to tend to them or their affairs. In other states, this legal process is referred to as a conservatorship, but Texas law uses the term “guardian” or “guardianship” to refer to the process.
Looking for legal advice from a respected Texas guardianship lawyer? Contact Attorney Tonya D. Jones by calling 832-230-4210 to get your questions answered, or to schedule a 100% confidential consultation about your situation and goals.
Understanding Guardianships & Texas Law
There are different forms of guardianships depending on whether or not the ward is a minor, disabled, or a person lacking sound mind and judgement.
Guardians are appointed to protect and care for an incapacitated person. An incapacitated person, who has a guardian appointed, is referred to as a ward.
An incapacitated person is generally defined as a person substantially incapable of providing for their own well-being and/or protecting themselves or their financial interests.
Children and disabled people are considered incapacitated, but that definition can also include able bodied adults that may be temporarily disabled (think coma) or that may be suffering a mental illness or severe depression.
Since all situations are different, an exhaustive list of potential wards and roles the guardian might take on would never be complete.
The process of becoming a guardian means that you’ll be assuming some or all of the rights of the “ward”, resulting in the “ward”, or the person being protected by the guardian, losing the rights you assumed on their behalf.
Guardianships and the Spirit of the Law
In our legal system, assuming the rights of another person is highly frowned upon, and limited as much as possible by honorable judges and their courts. In other words, the court will strive to displace as few rights as possible to the guardian under the spirit of letting the ward have as many of their rights as possible.
Different Forms of Guardianship
Texas law provides two different forms of guardianship; one focused on the care and well-being of the ward (Guardian of the Person), and the other for the estate, financial, and business dealings of the ward (Guardian of the Estate).
Depending on the ward’s situation and the qualifications of the prospective guardian(s), one guardian may be appointed to fulfill both roles, or two guardians may be appointed to fill one role each.
By the same token, a guardian found to be unsuitable by the court may be removed as a guardian if they’ve already been appointed, or deemed ineligible or disqualified from guardianship during the designation phase. Again, the decision of the judge is contingent on the situation the probate court is presented with, and how best they feel they can protect the ward.
When a petition for guardianship is filed the probate court must assign an Ad Litem Attorney to represent the interests of the ward. If you have questions about how Attorney Tonya D. Jones can be of a benefit to your case, call Jones Law, PLLC at 832-230-4210.