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What Are My Responsibilities as a Guardian in Texas?

 Posted on April 09, 2024 in Family Law

Hurst, TX guardianship lawyerWhen people are incapable of caring for themselves, Texas law allows them to be placed under the care of a guardian who is responsible for protecting them and their interests. A court may, for example, appoint a guardian for:

  • Someone who is incapacitated due to old age

  • A person with a severe physical or mental disability

  • A minor whose parents are dead, or unfit or unwilling to provide care

In many cases, a court will require evidence that shows the person, or ”ward,” is incapable of caring for himself or herself. In the case of a minor, the child’s age alone may be enough for a judge to place him or her under a guardianship. 

Once appointed, the guardian is granted either limited authority or full authority over the ward, both of which carry legal responsibilities that should be discussed with an experienced family lawyer.

Who Can Become a Guardian?

Courts prefer to grant guardianship to relatives of the ward before considering other options like friends or attorneys. If there is no one willing to become the ward’s guardian, the court may choose from guardianship programs or from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Anyone who wishes to become a guardian will be subjected to a background check. A judge may refuse to grant guardianship if there is a criminal record.

What Are My Responsibilities as a Guardian?

Your responsibilities as a guardian depend on whether you are appointed as guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate, which means you are responsible for managing the ward’s assets. Sometimes, as in the case of a minor, a guardian can be in charge of both.

A court will look at many factors to determine what responsibilities you have to the ward. Usually, these responsibilities include:

  • Paying for the ward’s expenses

  • Making decisions about the ward’s assets or estate

  • Making sure the ward’s living needs are met

Texas law also requires you to submit an annual accounting to the court on the ward’s estate. This report will include a list of the ward’s assets and their condition, any changes to them over the past year, any claims against the estate, and other details.

Contact a Tarrant County, TX Family Lawyer

Guardianships not only place a lot of responsibility on the guardian but also restrict many of the ward’s rights. It is therefore extremely important to pay careful attention to the legal process and the interests of everyone involved. A qualified Hurst, Texas family law attorney can help walk you through the guardianship process. Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. is a board-certified family law specialist who is experienced in guardianship matters. Call 817-498-4105 for a free consultation today.

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