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The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C.
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Understanding Guardianship

Guardianship

A guardianship allows you to protect a loved one.

Guardianship in Texas allows you the peace of mind to know your loved one has food, clothing and shelter and is taken care of. It  also allows you to protect the assets of your loved one. As guardian, you will never be kept in the dark again. You will have access to always be kept informed of the medical and mental well being of your loved one.

What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is defined as a court process whereby the court appoints someone who has legal responsibility over the care and management of a person or estate of an incapacitated individual who cannot act for himself/herself. The incapacitated individual is referred to as the "Proposed Ward."

This process is always the last resort. The chances are good that you know someone that has had to serve as Guardian for a loved one. If there is ever any less restrictive alternative or less costly, then that is always our first recommendation. It is always the last resort because it can be a costly and time consuming process depending on the level of incapacity, the nature of the assets and the degree of protection needed. Guardianship is a court supervised procedure. The court must approve any and all expenditures and actions taken on behalf of the incapacitated individual.

Types of Guardianships

In a guardianship proceeding, the court will appoint a guardian to protect the interests of an incapacitated person. An incapacitated person means a person under the age of eighteen (18) years, or an adult individual who is unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter or unable to manage their financial affairs. There are two types of Guardianships. A Guardian of the Person is responsible for the care and maintenance and personal needs of an incapacitated person. A Guardian of the Estate is responsible for all financial matters of an incapacitated person.

There are many different scenarios wherein a Guardianship will become necessary. A guardianship of a minor child becomes necessary if that minor child is entitled to receive any assets under a Last Will and Testament or if they were designated as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or IRA, etc. A guardian of the estate is necessary because a minor child cannot legally own any real property or be entitled to receive any assets. A parent is always the natural guardian of the person of a minor therefore a guardian of the person of a minor is only necessary when the minor's parents are deceased or unable to care for the minor. Guardianship is not the same as adoption. The parents' rights under a guardianship are never terminated as they are in adoption proceedings.

A guardianship of an adult will become necessary if the adult is incapacitated and unable to provide for themselves or manage their financial assets. A guardianship of the person is also necessary when an individual attains the age of eighteen (18) and suffers from mental retardation. Lastly, a guardianship may become necessary for an individual who suffers from a mental illness.

Find out if a Guardianship is right for your loved one by requesting a free consultation with our office.