A Texas guardianship is a legal relationship between a caretaker and a ward, someone who does not have decision-making authority due to unique circumstances or being a minor. This judicially created relationship is monitored to ensure the mental, physical, psychological, and financial needs of a person are being met. Guardianship is designed to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation. To understand specific circumstances that may affect the guardianship process, speak with an experienced family lawyer.
At Stepp & Sullivan, we utilize a client-focused and results-driven approach to help you navigate the guardianship process. With our 70 years of experience, we are well-versed in the challenges and obstacles you may face and how to mitigate them to support a favorable outcome. We aggressively advocate on your behalf so that your ward may obtain the care and assistance they need and protect their best interests.
Types of Guardianship in Texas
There are various types of guardianships that the court may appoint in Texas. Additionally, there are varying degrees of control you may have as a guardian. For example, the court may designate partial guardianship depending on the unique circumstances and needs of the ward.
The following are common types of guardianship established in Texas:
- Guardianship of an individual: The guardian is legally responsible for providing and managing the ward’s physical, emotional, psychological, educational, and social needs.
- Guardianship of an estate: The guardian is legally responsible for managing, protecting, and preserving the assets and finances of a ward.
- Guardianship of an individual and their estate: The guardian is legally responsible for the physical, emotional, educational, psychological, social, and financial needs of a ward.
- Guardianship of a minor: In addition to providing physical, emotional, educational, psychological and social needs, it may also require managing a minor’s inheritance from their parents’ estates and other assets.
There are various parties that may be considered priority individuals for guardianship of an adult or minor in Texas. A person who seeks designation as guardian may not be disqualified by law to serve.
Disqualifying factors may include:
- Being a minor
- Displaying bad conduct
- Indebted to the ward, and it goes unpaid prior to the appointment
- Unfit due to inexperience or education in managing the ward or the ward’s estate
- A non-resident of Texas
- Otherwise unsuitable
The guardianship lawyers at Stepp & Sullivan understand the complexities and challenges of pursuing guardianship in Texas. Our skilled legal team is committed to providing aggressive advocacy in and out of the courtroom and offering compassionate and honest legal guidance to bolster your chances of success in obtaining guardianship.
Guardianship Process in Texas
To initiate the guardianship process in Texas, you must retain the experienced help of a family law lawyer and have them file an application with the court. Then, a physician will assess the ward and affirm that they are incapacitated and may not care for themselves. Following the physician’s confirmation, the ward must personally serve the application. Specific relatives of the ward may also be served or notified.
The ward may be appointed an attorney ad litem to represent their best interests. You must then appear in court with the proposed ward and the attorneys to testify about why guardianship is necessary.
The guardianship of a minor is maintained under court supervision until the ward turns 18. If a child is under your care who is not your biological child, you should consider becoming a guardian. Without guardianship, you may have difficulty obtaining necessary medical care, school enrollment, and other obstacles.
You may need to obtain guardianship if you have a child with special needs once they turn 18 years old. A skilled guardianship lawyer at Stepp & Sullivan can help navigate the legal process and may expedite the process to save you time and resources so you can focus on taking care of your child.
Contact the Experienced Texas Guardianship Lawyers at Stepp & Sullivan
The compassionate and knowledgeable guardianship lawyers at Stepp & Sullivan understand how challenging, and emotionally difficult pursuing guardianship can be. With 70 years of experience and our personalized legal approach, we fight to achieve your legal goals for your best interests and the needs of your ward.