The Guardianship Process
Establishing guardianship is a process that occurs in the Texas Statutory Probate Court upon a filing by an interested party. Guardianship is generally established over an individual with diminished mental capacity due to infancy (i.e., minor children) or a mental condition. Guardianship is an essential legal status for any person wishing to assist the person (who is also known as a “ward”) with protection and preservation of property including day-to-day financial tasks. As the Texas guardianship laws are fairly complex, we strongly encourage you to seek assistance and advice from a reputable Fort Worth Probate Lawyer prior to filing your guardianship petition if you are considering this type of proceeding.
Fort Worth Probate Lawyer Discusses the Guardianship Filing Process
In order to obtain a guardianship over a loved one, your Fort Worth Probate Lawyer must begin the process by filing a petition listing the specific reasons why the guardianship is necessary. The petition, which is also known as an application, is usually filed in the county wherein the proposed ward resides. In addition to basic identifying information, the petition must contain an approximate value of the proposed ward’s estate, information pertaining to the proposed ward’s next-of-kin and the nature and degree of the alleged incapacity. In addition, the petition must be accompanied by an affidavit containing the details of a thorough physical examination performed within the past four months by a physician licensed in the State of Texas.
Fort Worth Probate Lawyer Describes the Threshold Requirements for Establishing Guardianship
Once the petition is filed, next-of-kin have an opportunity to object to the appointment of guardian, which is not uncommon in some families with an ongoing acrimonious relationship. From there, the court will appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the proposed ward and gather an understanding of the proposed ward’s wishes moving forward. After the guardian ad litem conducts an investigation and renders a report, the court will schedule a hearing wherein interested parties may object if there is a perceived issue with the proposed guardian. If no objections are made, the court will approve the guardianship if it finds that:
- The court has the proper jurisdiction to make a determination of incapacity;
- The proposed guardian is eligible and qualified to serve in the role;
- The proposed ward is totally incapacitated or is partially incapacitated and can only perform some of the tasks necessary to care for himself and manage his property.
Contact a Reputable Probate Attorney Today
If you are interested in pursuing guardianship over a loved one, we encourage you to contact a reputable Fort Worth probate lawyer today. To get started on the process, call the Hurr Law Office, P.C. by dialing 817-210-0150.