What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is the process of removing certain rights from a disabled individual and awarding those rights exclusively to another person.
When is Guardianship appropriate?
There are many different reasons to file for guardianship. In some cases, an injury or disability comes on suddenly, and there are no plans in place to be able to assist the disabled person. In other cases, planning was done, but may not be current, appropriate, or functional. A disabled child who is turning 18 will no longer be considered disabled in the eyes of the law, unless he or she goes through the Court process to be declared incapacitated. This can be essential for parents to maintain the care they have set up for their child. And finally, sometimes families disagree as to the best way to care for their loved one, and it becomes necessary to designate one person as the decision maker.
Types of Guardianship
In Texas, we use the terms Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate. (Some states use Guardian and Conservator, respectively.) A Guardian of the Person makes personal decisions for the disabled person, or Ward, such as medical, residential, and treatment decisions, and makes sure the Ward is in a safe place and receiving appropriate care. A Guardian of the Estate protects the property of the Ward and uses that property appropriately to care for the Ward.
We believe that guardianship should always be a last resort. To that end, we try to find less restrictive alternatives first, and we want to include as much of a family as is practical. If you need assistance with guardianship issues, please call us to set up an appointment.
How can Katten & Benson help?
Katten & Benson can help families determine when it is appropriate to file for guardianship, which type of guardianship is appropriate, and help the family maintain guardianship.