A guardianship is a court-made relationship binding a legal guardian and a ward to protect the ward from abuse and self-neglect. In most cases, the ward is unable to make regular life decisions on their own due to disability or other extenuating circumstances that have affected their capacity to take care of themself. More infrequently, the ward may be a minor in need of someone to legally care for them until they are an adult.
The level of authority possessed by a legal guardian depends on the exact circumstances surrounding the ward and their capability to manage certain aspects of their life. A legal guardianship is commonly considered a last resort for an incapacitated individual, so it is not unlikely the legal guardian will have full authority over the ward’s personal matters and estate. Stepp & Sullivan offers many years of experience navigating the world of guardianship in Texas and can help you overcome any challenges or questions you are currently experiencing with the guardianship process.
What Authority Does a Legal Guardian Have in Texas?
In order to determine what authority a legal guardian has, you must first identify the type of guardianship the court appointed. In the Lone Star State, there are four different types of guardians, including the following:
Guardianship of an individual person authorizes the legal guardian to have full control of the ward’s personal affairs. This can include their housing, their medical decisions and treatments, and their education. In this case, the guardian is legally obligated to ensure the ward’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being are all being managed effectively and beneficially.
Guardianship of estate refers to the management of the ward’s assets. This includes their property and finances. Common examples of behaviors practiced by the guardian of the estate will include paying bills, paying taxes, and overseeing bank accounts and investments.
Individual and Estate
In the event the ward is fully incapacitated and is not able to manage any aspect of their life, the legal guardian may be authorized to manage and protect the ward fully. This includes their personal affairs and assets.
A legal guardianship for a minor is different from custody. Legal guardianship does not automatically grant custody, nor does it revoke custody from the minor’s parents. A minor’s legal guardian oversees their financial decisions, medical care or treatments, as well as their purchases for basic needs.
This process is typically undertaken to protect a minor from abuse, neglect, or exploitation at the hands of their custodian and will expire once the minor turns 18. The guardian is in no way allowed to benefit from the minor’s guardianship and all of their assets must go toward their personal betterment.
Meet With a Dedicated Texas Guardianship Lawyer Today
Being a legal guardian comes with lots of responsibilities, questions, and even confusion. The process to become one can be difficult to navigate, especially when you are making important decisions on behalf of another person. If you have any questions about the process or what authorities you possess, the team at Stepp & Sullivan is here to help. We have successfully helped our clients with even the most challenging of family cases and have done so head-on.
A compassionate and knowledgeable guardianship lawyer on your side can make a world of difference. We are well-versed in the challenges fighting for guardianship can invoke. We will fight for whatever you need with the court procedures and requirements for guardianship to rightfully protect your ward’s best interests. To see how exactly we can help you today, please fill out our contact form or give our office a call at (713) 336-7200.