With the increase in the baby boomer population that is now starting to age, the courts are flooded more than ever with guardianship cases to appoint a guardian for an elderly incapacitated person who does not otherwise have plans in place to care for them during their incapacity. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need to appoint guardians for some individuals who have been isolated during the pandemic or who have deteriorated as a result of the stress of the pandemic. It is important to have a clear understanding of the guardianship process as a whole before making the decision to move forward with pursuing guardianship of a family member of a loved one. In Texas, guardianship is a relationship that has been legally established by a court of law that names a person to take on the responsibility of caring for someone who does not have the ability to care for himself or herself or someone who is incapacitated.
Who can be classified as an incapacitated person? In Texas, an incapacitated person is:
- an adult who is not able to provide for himself/herself due to age, disabilities, physical conditions, or mental conditions
- a minor
- someone who needs a representative or guardian in order to receive funds that are distributed by the government
In the state of Texas, there are multiple types of guardianships, including the following:
- a guardian who is responsible for providing care and protection for a person (Guardian of the Person)
- a guardian who takes on the responsibility of managing someone’s financial affairs or property (Guardian of the Estate)
- a guardian who takes on the responsibility of caring for someone and managing their property (Guardian of the Person and Estate)
- a guardian who will provide care and protection on a temporary basis until a final decision has been made (Temporary Guardian)
During the guardianship process, only one person can be named as the guardian of a person. Also, only one person may be named as the guardian of someone’s estate. The same person does not have to be the guardian over both the person and the person’s estate, but it is fairly routine that the same person would be appointed to fill both roles. Two different people can be named guardians in situations where the incapacitated person will receive the best care and protection possible.
At Ford + Bergner LLP, we take pride in helping those who are in need of guardianship. Before making any decisions about guardianship or care of a family member or loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your potential case. We can review your case and take the necessary steps that will be required to have a successful guardianship process.