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Texas Legal Blog

How the court determines whether guardianship is necessary

Adult children with elderly parents face a mountain of challenges and often have many questions about how to proceed. When your parent is no longer able to make decisions for him or herself, the burden often falls on you, their adult child, to care for them and manage their affairs.

Guardianship is one legal tool that many adult children of incapacitated parents turn to for an effective solution. A guardianship may be the right choice in your situation if your parent is incapacitated and needs someone to ensure their health, well-being and financial interests are protected.

Don't risk losing an estate in guardianship cases

In the state of Texas, many families have lost a loved one and then suffered a double loss when the probate court system essentially took over authority in deciding how to distribute the loved one's assets and estate after his or her death. Many families do not have information about the responsibilities and risks of guardianship cases prior to losing a loved one.

If you are caring for an elderly or incapacitated parent, guardianship is something you should inform yourself about. It becomes particularly important as your parent nears the end of his or her life so you can avoid the risk of the court system stepping in and making decisions that are out of your hands.

What is the guardian of an adult child responsible for?

Becoming someone's legal guardian is a complicated process. In Texas, a person first needs to fill out an application and then receive court approval. During the court proceedings, a judge will determine if someone is truly in need of a legal guardian despite being over the age of 18. 

If a family member or another loved one requires guardianship, then it is vital to find the right person for the task. Guardianship can encompass numerous facets, and sometimes it will require a fairly hands-off role. However, there are certain things for the guardian to expect. 

4 important questions to ask when writing your will

While it can be difficult to think about your own mortality, it is often vital to caring for your family in the event of your unexpected death. Without a will, everything you own is in jeopardy. Your children may not even end up where you want them.

Too many Americans live life without a will, which is a serious issue that should be addressed. When you are planning your own will, consider these key questions.

Who should be a guardian for your adult child?

As you work on your estate planning, an important area to prepare for is the future of your adult child with special needs. You must appoint a guardian for your child to ensure he or she is taken care of properly once you are gone. Not just anyone will do, including family and friends. There are many factors you should consider as you make this significant decision. Ask yourself the following questions as you review possible candidates.

How to choose an executor for your estate

Creating a will is a wise move for everyone, regardless of age or assets. A critical decision you must make somewhere along the way involves naming an executor, or the person you will entrust with seeing that the wishes expressed in your will are carried out in the manner you desire.

Many people immediately think of family members or close family friends when naming an executor, and doing so has both benefits and downfalls. The executor role is one that requires a good degree of responsibility, from filing paperwork at appropriate times to making sure your tax needs are taken care of after your passing. When deciding who to name as your will's executor, consider the following.

Making informed decisions about guardianship and its alternatives

Many Texans have loved ones who need some assistance with life. It may be as narrow as needing someone to help pay bills and balance the checkbook or as broad as needing management of almost all aspects of life for someone with severe disabilities.

Guardianship option

We talked in our last post about the alternative under Texas law of guardianship of an incapacitated person. Texas allows for a guardianship of the person that gives the guardian responsibility for the personal and physical well being like medical care, medication, residential care, clothing, food and similar needs. Another kind of guardianship is the guardian of the estate, meaning the guardian manages the person's money, assets and property.

Why you might need to set up a guardianship?

Do you have a loved one who can no longer make decisions that are in their best interest? You have options and one is seeking a guardianship. This can allow you to step in and make personal and financial decisions.

Two common situations that require guardianships are:

  • A developmentally delayed children has grown up, but still needs assistance
  • An elderly person loses some of their mental and/or physical capabilities and need help managing their affairs.

In the first instance, a guardianship is usually no more than an extension of the arrangement that existed during childhood.

For the elderly, it may represent a difficult role reversal. Often the appointed guardian is an adult child, nieces or nephews. The elderly person may have even been a caretaker or adult role model for much of the time.


Soraya Joslin, P.C.
1510 Santa Fe, Suite 500
Weatherford, TX 76086

Phone: 817-757-4194
Fax: 817-764-1990
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