Problems with Guardianship in Texas


A new article in the Houston Chronicle (Guardianships putting thousands of elderly Texans at risk: Documents show they’re losing their rights) reports growing problems with guardianship in Texas.  The article focuses mostly on the plight of one elderly ward in Texas.  In this ward’s case, her guardian was a non-relative and an attorney.  The ward was placed in a group home and was later discovered to have deteriorating health.  It’s possible that a more hands-on guardian could have done a better job to make sure the ward was receiving adequate medical care.  The attorney charged this ward’s estate more than $13,000 for acting as guardian, and the same attorney took in more than $200,000 for guardianship services the previous year alone.

The point of this posting is not to criticize the guardianship attorney who was acting as guardian in this case.  It’s hard to tell from the Chronicle’s article how much neglect actually occurred.  However, I do want to encourage you to give some thought to guardianship in Texas.  Texas guardianship attorneys  have the ability, through a legal document called a “Declaration of Guardian in Advance of Need,” to list who you would like to serve as your guardian should the need for a guardian ever arise down the road.

Guardianship is a serious legal process.  If a doctor and/or judge determines that you are legally mentally incapacitated, the judge may appoint a guardian over you.  If this happens, you lose legal rights.  The person appointed as your guardian assumes your legal rights and is charged with taking care of you.  Don’t you want a say in who may some day take over your legal rights?  Would you rather have a stranger you’ve never met be your legal guardian?



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To ask a legal question or get legal help from a probate attorney in the Dallas, TX area, use the online contact form to the right or call (214) 302-8197. If you prefer to meet at the office in person in Richardson, TX- the attorney will gladly offer a free consultation.

Visit for more information on getting guardianship in Texas, the role of a guardian in Texas, or other questions about guardianship of an adult in Texas–contact Richardson, Texas Probate Attorney Isaac Shutt at

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 need letters testamentary, need letters of guardianship in Texas, how to probate in Dallas County Probate Courts or the Collin County Probate Court, a Texas Last Will and Testament, or you need a probate attorney in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX, Collin County, 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 you sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.

Texas Probate Attorney, Wills Lawyer, and Guardianship Attorney

By Isaac Shutt