A guardianship is sometimes needed when a person cannot take care of herself or himself. To obtain a guardianship, the proposed ward's incapacity must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, a very high standard to meet. Unless the proposed ward is a minor, a certificate from a doctor who has examined the proposed ward must be filed with the court. Typically, a Texas Probate Court will look to alternative, less drastic measures to avoid the guardianship or by taking away as few of the ward’s rights as possible. This is because a guardianship takes a person's rights away including use of their finances, decisions on their daily care, living arrangements and the right to vote, among other rights.
A guardian of the person is authorized to make decisions involving the life and well-being of the ward, including health care decisions and living arrangements. A guardian of the estate is authorized to handle the financial affairs of the ward, and maintains the duty to manage, protect, preserve and dispose of the ward’s estate in accordance with the Texas Estates Code.
A guardianship may be necessary in some cases, but be aware that it is a very expensive process to administer. I help my clients with creative planning to find alternatives to a guardianship where they are appropriate.