Sometimes people are not able to care for themselves and see to their own basic needs due to physical or mental incapacity. When a person is not able to care for him or herself, another person may petition the court to appoint a guardian to oversee the person's care. Texas law clearly defines the responsibilities of and limitations on these guardianships. Those seeking court authority to act as the guardian of another should understand the limits of guardianship and some alternatives to guardianship that may be appropriate.
When the court appoints a person guardian for another, the guardian is responsible for ensuring that the ward's living and medical needs are met to the fullest extent possible given the ward's resources. The guardian also must file annual reports with the court and must get court permission to take many actions regarding the ward. A guardian's powers and responsibilities are limited in the following ways:
Guardianships are not appropriate in all cases where people need some supervision or assistance. Alternatives to guardianships exist that may be more suitable for a person's needs, such as:
Making the decision to establish a guardianship for a loved one can be difficult. Sometimes, even when a person needs help managing his or her affairs, a guardianship is not the right fit for the person's needs. If you are considering a guardianship, contact an experienced elder law lawyer who can discuss your situation with you and advise you of your options.
The Law Firm of Laura Coorpender Ramirez, PLLC, in Lake Dallas, Texas, represents clients throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the cities of Denton, Lewisville, Highland Village, the Colony, Carrollton, Copper Canyon, Ponder, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Argyle, Bartonville, Frisco, Plano, Hickory Creek, Sanger, Shady Shores and Corinth.