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.
Guardianship in Texas
Texas law allows the court to assign a legal guardian for people who are incapacitated. The court can structure the guardianship so that the incapacitated person maintains autonomy in any areas in which he or she is still able to exercise independence.
In assigning guardianship, the court will take several factors into consideration, including:
- Whether guardianship is even necessary based on evidence provided a licensed physician
- The extent to which the person is mentally or physically incapacitated
- Who would be the most appropriate person to serve as a parent's guardian
If your parent did not previously appoint a power of attorney, a guardianship may be the only route for taking control of their decisions once they are deemed no longer capable of making sound decisions for themselves.
Is guardianship the right choice?
Guardianship is not always the right choice in every situation. However, in some cases, guardianship allows an adult child to assist an incapacitated parent who did not plan in advance for his or her health care directives.
The first step in seeking more information about whether a guardianship is the right choice in your particular case is through a consultation with an attorney. A lawyer who works with guardianship cases can help you evaluate your particular circumstances and determine if this is the appropriate solution, or if there is a different preferable option.