Compassionate Guardianship Assistance
According to the Texas Estates Code, "the court shall design the guardianship to encourage the development or maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence in the incapacitated person."
What is a Guardianship
A guardianship is a legal relationship created by the probate court, in which one party (the ward) is found to be incapacitated and has some legal rights taken away and given to the other party (the guardian). The guardian is obligated to exercise those rights in the best interest of the ward. Guardianship takes away a person’s constitutional rights and liberties. So it is carefully handled by the court system and the court has a duty to limit the extent of a guardianship as much as possible.
Who Needs A Guardianship
Guardianship is for a person who is incapacitated. "Incapacity" may be legal or practical in nature. A minor child without parents, for example, needs a guardian because he is legally unable to make decisions for himself. A disabled adult may need a guardian for practical reasons, such as the inability to understand and manage financial needs or to make medical decisions. The legal definition refers to a person has a physical or mental condition that causes them to be substantially unable to provide food, clothing or shelter for themselves, care for their physical health, or manage their financial affairs. Incapacity may be full or partial; a person may be able to manage some aspects of self-care and decision-making, but not others.
Dementia in the elderly is another situation where guardianship can be used. Many people fail to plan for the day when they will be unable to care for themselves. We often have the children of adults with severe dementia coming to us after their parent is simply too far gone to do any preplanning. In such cases, if the parent needs someone to make their medical decision or access their funds to pay for care, the family will not have the legal authority to do that. Often, guardianship is the only answer. For more about the guardianship process, click here.