Dallas Guardianship Lawyer
Guardianship is the option of last resort when there is no available legal alternative to protect the personal or financial well-being of an incapacitated person. If you are caring for a family member and need guidance in obtaining the necessary legal authority to act on their behalf, we invite you to call us to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our experienced guardianship lawyers.
As an elder law firm in Ellis County, Texas, we are often asked to advise caregivers about the legal effect of guardianship in cases such as the following:
- An elderly person with Alzheimer’s Disease or other form of dementia
- An adult with a mental or physical disability
- A minor child (under the age of 18) who inherits money or property
- A person who is due government funds such as veteran’s benefits
At The Hale Law Firm, we can help you determine if a guardianship is necessary, and if so, guide you through the complex process of establishing a guardianship for a family member or friend.
What is Guardianship?
A guardianship is a court-supervised administration for a minor or an incapacitated adult. The person who is subject to the guardianship is called the “ward” and the person appointed by the court to act on the ward’s behalf is referred to as the “guardian”.
There are two types of guardianships:
- Guardian of the Person who is the guardian appointed by the court to take care of the ward’s physical well-being; and
- Guardian of the Estate who is the guardian appointed by the court to manage the ward’s financial affairs.
In some cases, only one type of guardianship is required for a ward, but in most cases both types of guardianships are required. The guardian of the person and guardian of the estate is usually the same person, but may be different people depending on the circumstances.
Who May Serve as a Guardian?
Texas law establishes a priority list for who may serve as guardian for a minor or incapacitated adult. The court may skip over someone higher in priority if the court deems that person to be ineligible. The court may decide a person is ineligible to serve as guardian if the person is a minor; the person’s conduct has been notoriously bad; the person is incapacitated; the person has certain conflicts of interest with those of the ward; the person, due to lack of experience, education or other good reason, is incapable of managing the ward or the ward’s estate; the person is found unsuitable by the court; or the person is not a resident of the State of Texas and has not designated an agent for service of process in Texas.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
Guardianship proceedings are complicated, requiring the expertise of a skilled probate and elder law attorney. For wise and compassionate counsel, call one of our guardianship attorneys today for your free initial consultation.