Procedures for Obtaining Legal Guardianship
A person may need a guardian if he is a minor over whom no one has legal custody (such as an orphan), or an adult who has become incapacitated. Obtaining legal guardianship requires a hearing before a judge, and it may be in your best interests if you are seeking to take on such a position to work with a Bryan estate attorney.
What Guardianship Does
If a person is appointed a legal guardian, this means that many of his rights are taken away. For this reason, it may be best to seek another option first, such as having a trusted individual help the person in question with bills, money management and healthcare decisions. One might also see if community services are available that can assist, such as Medicaid programs.
Becoming a Guardian
If you are interested in taking on the position of guardian, you will need to follow three basic steps: File an application with the court, appear before a judge for the hearing, and ask the judge to appoint you as guardian. Guardianship with adults is generally permanent if the medical or mental condition of the individual is not expected to improve. However, if the ward improves to the point of no longer needing supervision or assistance, the guardian can request a hearing at which the judge will determine whether or not guardianship should continue.
A program exists in this state which is designed to protect two types of individuals who are in need of legal guardianship. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services does the following:
- When a minor is old enough that he soon will no longer quality for a conservatorship, but adult supervision is needed (as in a severely disabled individual who cannot care for himself), the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will refer the individual to DADS.
- When an adult is referred to DADS, one of the following situations must exist: the individual must be disabled/incapacitated, or be age 65 or older and a victim of abuse or neglect.
Qualifications for Guardianship
In order to be considered for guardianship you must be a legal adult and be mentally competent. In addition, you need to reside in the same state as the ward, and you may not have ever been convicted of a felony.
For Further Information or Questions
If you know someone who needs a guardian and/or would like to be considered for such as position, speak with a Bryan estate attorney first to make sure you understand all the responsibility that you would be taking on. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.