You will probably never need a guardian as an adult, but, if you do, wouldn’t you like to choose who serves as your guardian?
As we age, there is an increased likelihood that we will become mentally incapacitated due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or some other mental condition. When a person becomes mentally incapacitated, he/she no longer has the legal authority to sign documents. So, if you become mentally incapacitated, you’ll need a power of attorney or legal guardian to make transactions on your behalf.
When guardianship is needed, there will be a legal hearing at the probate court to legally name the guardian. Becoming guardian over an incapacitated person in Texas involves more than paperwork; the court requires an investigation by a third-party attorney and by a court investigator to make sure that the proposed guardian is fit to serve as guardian.
The probate court takes the guardianship seriously because guardianship involves serious legal rights. When the court names a guardian, the incapacitated person essentially loses the right to make legal decisions, including the right to choose where he/she will live.
This guardianship process can become contentious for families. What if several people believe they are the best candidate for guardian? What if one person thinks that a particular proposed guardian would abuse the guardianship role? The potential for guardianship abuse can cause disagreements for family members.
For example, a recent news story out of New Hampshire describes how a nephew assaulted his uncle in a parking lot after a guardianship dispute. There had been a legal battle over the guardianship of the nephew’s father, and emotions were running high. After one guardianship legal arbitration session, the nephew punched his uncle in the face. The injury was so severe that the uncle was hospitalized.
How can you prevent guardianship disputes in your family? Have an attorney prepare a document for you called a “Declaration of Guardian in Advance of Need.” With this document, you can tell the court your preferences for your guardian before you actually need a guardian.
If you never need a guardian, great, the document will just sit on the shelf unused. However, if you need a guardian in the future, this document will tell the court who should serve as your guardian, potentially preventing a guardianship dispute among your family members. The document is simple, cheap insurance against any potential guardianship problems in the future.
Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on naming a guardian, an adult guardianship, guardianship disputes, becoming guardian of an adult in Texas, or about the Texas Declaration of Guardian document, contact Richardson, Texas lawyer Isaac Shutt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.
You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re facing guardianship court or looking for a guardianship lawyer in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX or surrounding North Texas area.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.