Appoint Legal Guardian Guide

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If your circumstances cause you to wonder “how to appoint legal guardian?” call The BB Law Group PLLC. We assist families with all types of guardianship issues and strive to help protect their loved ones through guardianship. Whether for an aging parent, incapacitated family member, or minor child, we are here to guide you through the process. 

What Is a Legal Guardian?

Guardianship is a legal relationship established by a Texas court in which the court appoints one individual, the “guardian,” to care for an incapacitated person, “the ward.” Under Texas law, an incapacitated person is a minor or an adult who is unable to provide for themselves, care for themselves, or manage their financial affairs. Specifically, a court will find an adult is incapacitated if they are unable to take care of their physical health and hygiene and manage their finances.

A legal guardian is legally authorized to act on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated adult to ensure their health, safety, and welfare needs are met and to protect their rights. A guardian makes legal decisions on behalf of the ward. However, it is best to involve the ward in certain decisions if their mental abilities permit it.

How Long Does Legal Guardianship Last?

Once a court appoints a guardian, the guardianship often becomes permanent. However, the court can modify or terminate a guardianship if circumstances change, such as the degree of incapacity of the ward.  

Can A Guardian Sign Legal Documents?

Yes, a guardian signs legal documents on behalf of the ward. Because of the ward’s incapacity (and the fact that their right to dictate their affairs is taken away through guardianship), signing legal documents is the responsibility of the guardian for the ward. When signing legal documents, the guardian will note they are signing for and on behalf of the ward as “guardian.” A guardian will be required to provide consent for necessary medical treatment for the ward when the guardianship is in place. Because of the extent of authority a guardian has over the ward concerning medical and financial decisions, a guardian must act in the ward’s best interests.

How Old Is a Legal Guardian?

To be a guardian, you must be at least 18 years old. However, age is only a minimum requirement. To qualify as a guardian, the individual must also have “standing,” specifically some familial relationship with the proposed ward, such as a spouse, family member, or adult child. A non-family member can also be appointed guardian if the court deems it appropriate.

What Rights Do Legal Guardians Have?

APPOINT LEGAL GUARDIAN GUIDEThe rights legal guardians have in Texas depend on the type of guardianship that is established: 

  • Guardian of the person (full or limited) – The guardian is responsible for the care, supervision, and provision of food, clothing, and shelter for the ward. They are also responsible for the ward’s medical treatment.
  • Guardian of the estate (full or limited) – The guardian is appointed to manage the property and financial affairs of the ward.
  • Guardian of the person and estate – The court appoints the guardian to handle the ward’s care and also to manage their property.
  • Temporary/emergency guardian – The court may appoint someone as a temporary guardian with authority over the ward and their property. 

A guardian will pay the ward’s bills, manage their personal property, arrange where they will live, and make their medical decisions. As such, it is critical that the guardian is trustworthy and always considers the ward’s best interests because of their authority over the ward, including how their money is spent, who the ward can associate with, and whether they take certain medication.

The guardian has extensive power over the ward to make decisions concerning their everyday life, including personal care, housing, transportation, and even meals. Because of their broad control over the ward, courts encourage legal guardians to work with the individual to make joint decisions when possible. Your attorney may advise you that a Power of Attorney or living will may be a better alternative to establishing guardianship since these documents would reflect the individual’s wishes for their medical decisions. Such decisions would then not be at the sole discretion of the guardian.

Call Today If You Are Considering Guardianship

At The BB Law Group PLLC, we understand that pursuing guardianship, while necessary, may be an emotional and difficult experience. We are committed to helping families in their time of need and are here to answer any questions you have about establishing guardianship. Let an experienced and knowledgeable Texas guardianship attorney help you navigate the legal process. Call us today at (832) 534-2589 or contact us online to get started with a confidential evaluation.