A guardian is appointed by the Texas court to care for individuals who cannot care for themselves, such as minors, elderly adults, or adults with developmental disabilities. Guardianship guarantees that the person, their property, or both is cared for. You may have someone in your life for whom you want to take on this responsibility, but not just anyone can be named a guardian.
In the state of Texas, there is a procedure you must follow to become a guardian. To help you complete this process, you should have a Certified guardianship attorney by your side. By retaining the legal services of Stepp & Sullivan, you can make sure the guardianship process is carried out properly and smoothly. Our firm can represent you and guide you through assuming the guardianship of a loved one.
How to Become a Guardian in Texas
Guardianship involves taking away a person’s rights, so it should be a last-resort decision. You should only take up the role of guardian if there is no reasonable alternative for the person. Because this is a major decision, becoming a guardian is not as simple as filling out a form online. There are many steps in the process and rules that you must follow.
Retain an Attorney Licensed by the State Bar of Texas
To become a guardian, you must handle multiple legal processes and go to a court hearing, so you should get legal counsel to represent you. Having a lawyer with experience handling guardianships can help you comprehend the procedures and rules involved.
Certificate of Medical Examination
Depending on the kind of alleged impairment, the court will require a certificate of medical examination (CME). A Medical Doctor must assess the potential ward and vouch for their incapacity. You’ll receive the appropriate form from your attorney for the doctor to complete.
The doctor provides detailed responses to inquiries regarding the patient’s mental and physical skills as part of the examination procedure. Then, the doctor expresses their professional judgment regarding the patient’s capacity to make decisions on their own, vote, drive, get married, and engage in other events or actions.
File an Application for Guardianship With The Court
You and your attorney can go to the county court to file your application, or petition, for guardianship with the findings of the examination and any other relevant information. The application must be personally served to the potential ward. Family members and other interested persons must also be served or informed.
After your attorney files your Application with the court, the judge will appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the intended ward’s interests and fight for their rights during the guardianship process. The ad litem’s job includes determining whether guardianship is necessary and whether other supports and services could be advantageous for the potential ward.
Have a Hearing Before a Judge
You, the potential ward, the attorney ad Litem, and your counsel will appear in court for a hearing where you will most likely be required to testify as to why the potential ward needs a guardian. The ad litem will express whether they believe the potential ward needs a guardian. The judge will then determine whether to grant guardianship.
The Judge Decides Whether to Appoint Guardianship
The Judge either denies the guardianship or grants it, with or without limitations. After a guardian is chosen, you will have continuous legal obligations that may call for legal counsel. First, you must swear under oath that you will carry out your legal guardian responsibilities and post a bond with the court.
After posting the bond, you will be issued Letters of Guardianship by the court, which you can use to prove your role as a legal guardian wherever it’s needed.
A Highly Qualified Texas Guardianship Lawyer Can Guide You Through Becoming a Guardian
Since being a guardian isn’t a responsibility to take lightly, becoming a guardian is no easy task. Guardians must decide what is best for their ward and make important life decisions on their behalf. When you have a loved one in need of such caregiving, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand how to obtain this authority.
Retaining a Certified Texas guardianship lawyer can help ensure this process goes smoothly. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan have an in-depth understanding of guardianship and the Court proceedings necessary to obtain a Guardianship. If you require legal assistance in Texas contact us at (713) 336-7200 or via our contact form.