When you have a loved one in Texas who is no longer capable of handling his or her own affairs, you may consider establishing a guardianship as a method of protecting this individual. Some people establish guardianship over a loved one when that party develops dementia or another condition related to aging. Other times, they do so when a legal adult suffers an injury or develops a condition that warrants such an arrangement.
Per Texas Health and Human Services, establishing a guardianship involves having the court appoint someone a guardian over a “ward,” or an individual who needs extra help handling day-to-day life.
Benefits of guardianship
When necessary, guardianships may lead to notable benefits. They help protect your loved one against exploitation, for starters, lowering the chances of anyone taking advantage of your loved one, financially or otherwise. They also give someone the duty of making decisions about medical care, where to live and related matters on your loved one’s behalf. This helps ensure that the ward has everything he or she needs to get by.
Drawbacks of guardianship
Arguably the biggest drawback of guardianship is that it strips some control from the ward, or the individual to whom the guardianship applies. Depending on who the guardian is, guardianship may also take some of the decision-making ability away from the ward’s close family members.
Because a guardianship takes away some of your loved one’s rights, you may want to consider it only after exhausting other options. However, when the situation warrants it, guardianship may be the most effective way to protect and advocate for your loved one.