Atrium Legal Group’s attorneys bring years of experience and understanding to Guardianship services, which rang from Guardian of the Person, Guardian of the Estate, Temporary Guardianships, and Special Needs Guardianships.

Guardianship Attorneys

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is the process of getting court-approved management of an individual, and/or their property, in order to make critical decisions on their behalf, that are in their best interests; but only if the person is unable to do so themselves due to incapacity. Incapacity includes cognitive impairments, mental health challenges, or severe physical disabilities

There are different types of guardianships, each designed to address the specific challenges of individuals; including the following:

Guardian of the Person:

The Guardian of the Person’s primary responsibility is to help the Ward have a full and healthy life, including quality medical care, suitable accommodations, interpersonal interactions, education/vocation training, and proper supervision. However, this guardian is not required to live with the individual, provide daily supervision, or use personal funds for the individual’s care.

Guardian of the Estate:

The Guardian of the Estate assumes responsibility for managing the financial resources and property for the individual. Additionally, they are required to submit an annual accounting report detailing the status of the Ward’s assets to the court, showing how the Ward’s money is being used.

Limited Guardianship:

A Limited Guardianship is limited to specific decision-making areas, such as medical treatment, allowing the individual to make other life decisions independently. This type of Guardianship is the least restrictive and allows for individuals to retain some control over their lives.

Temporary Guardian:

A Temporary Guardian may be appointed for urgent situations. A temporary guardianship normally lasts up to 90 days.

Successor Guardian:

A Successor Guardian is an individual designated, in legal documents, to assume guardianship in the event of the existing guardian’s death or inability to serve.

Do You Need a Guardianship?

In most situations, the first step in determining if there is a need for a Guardian is to Assess the person’s decision-making ability. This requires a medical examination to determine the person’s level of incapacity. Once the level of capacity is known, then an application can be filed with the Court for the appropriate type of Guardianship.

The process of obtaining a Guardianship can take anywhere from three months, to a year or longer, depending on the situation and on the county.

How do you obtain a Guardianship?

An individual can sign an official “Declaration of Guardianship” making their whishes known as to whom they prefer to be their Guardian. Without such document, the Texas law defaults to: the individual’s spouse (if any), then the next closest relationship (children, siblings, parents). The Court may require the Guardian to post a bond (insurance policy) into the court registry, prior to the final appointment. Then, within 10-days of being appointed, the Guardian must complete a background check through a fingerprint-based criminal history check, as well as completing the Guardianship training through the State of Texas. In order for anyone to be appointed as a Guardian, they must meet these requirements.

The guardian’s authority may be limited to certain areas and is subject to court reassessment, and subject to the required annual filings on the health/wellbeing of the Ward, as well as a Financial Report. A guardian who fails to meet their responsibilities, or file the annual reports on time, may be replaced through a formal process initiated by the court or a concerned party.

When is a Guardianship needed?

Special Needs Child Turns eighteen:

When a child, even one with special needs, becomes an adult at the age eighteen (18), they gain the right to make decisions about their life, their finances, and their health. In some cases, however, obtaining a special needs guardianship as their parent or caregiver is necessary for their well-being. Such a guardianship can control some or all of the legal decision-making power for the now adult ward.

Adults That Lose Capacity:

Whether the result of an accident, or a medical diagnosis, adults may lose capacity to make decisions for themselves. When this occurs, a Guardianship may be the best course of action.

If you have a child with special needs who is about to turn eighteen (or who already is eighteen), or if you have a family member who you believe has lost capacity, and needs extra car or protection, contact our office at 469-402-3030 to schedule a consultation with one of our Guardianship attorneys, headquartered in Rockwall. From Guardianship of the estate, Guardianship of the Person, temporary Guardianships, special needs Guardianships or other Guardianship services, we They can walk you through the Guardianship process and help you make an informed decision on the need for a Guardianship as well as the costs. 

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