When we use the term “guardianship,” most of us assume that this implies the legal right to care for minor children, whether it’s a parent or another adult. However, the term is much broader than that. Under Texas law, there are a couple of different types of guardianships: the first involves the legal supervision of minors. The second is someone who becomes appointed, with the help of an attorney, to care for an incapacitated adult. Obtaining guardianship of either party can be legally complex and require the assistance of a family law attorney. Austin minor and adult guardianship lawyer Mr. Abraham Kant has been serving Texas families for years and can help you with these difficult matters. Contact Abraham Kant Esquire today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Texas law presumes that the biological parents of a child are the de facto guardians of their person – but not to their estate. There is usually no need to determine guardianship of a minor child if both parents provide a loving home. Even when one parent dies, the other is still the natural guardian of the child. However, these same provisions do not apply to money or property that a minor child might inherit.
A common example is when a child inherits property from a grandparent. While the law presumes that a minor cannot properly care for handling money or property, a parent cannot automatically become a guardian of the child’s estate. This is where the idea of minor guardianships comes in. A minor guardianship may be mandated by a Probate Court to appoint someone to control a minor’s estate until they become old enough to do so themselves.
A minor guardianship might also apply when both parents die or terminate their parental rights. In this case, the courts would be required to appoint a guardian to care for the child.
If an adult cannot make decisions for himself or herself, the courts may appoint a guardian that controls their estate and even their medical decisions. Generally, a spouse or children of an incapacitated person have the first priority for guardianship. In some cases, a person may designate a guardian in the event of incapacity in their estate plan, although such an election may not be binding on the Court. Guardianship suits are also used to deal with an appointed agent of an incapacitated person (normally by a Power of Attorney) who is failing to adequately take care of the ward’s person or estate.
You may also seek an adult guardianship if you have an adult child with a disability. Your automatic guardianship rights expire when your child turns 18, and filing a petition for guardianship is necessary if you want to continue to make decisions for them.
Generally, the guardian of an incapacitated adult will have several important roles, including:
When you receive a guardianship, you’ll have to report to the court frequently to report on your actions and the condition of your loved one (which in legal terms is called your “ward”).
Obtaining and sustaining a guardianship, both for an adult or a minor, is a very complex process that involves working with a Probate Court, or District Court. Abraham Kant Esquire has years of experience in handling these types of matters for our clients. If you have any questions regarding the process or if you would like to schedule an initial consultation with our firm, please contact us.