Justice scalesIn our last post, we discussed the ways a proposed ward can challenge the creation of a guardianship and, if a guardian is needed, ways to dispute who gets to be guardian. We now conclude this series with some of the most important points to remember about Pursuing and Avoiding Texas Guardianships.

To recap, this series addressed the following topics:

  1. Overview—Pursuing and Avoiding Dallas Guardianships
  2. The Legal Requirements for Determining When a Dallas Resident Needs a Guardian
  3. Less Restrictive Alternatives May Avoid Dallas Guardianships
  4. Practical Reasons Why Guardianships Over Dallas Residents May Be Necessary
  5. The Legal Process of Challenging Texas Guardianships
  6. Series Recap—Important Takeaways for Pursuing and Avoiding Dallas Guardianships

The posts above contain details critical to your understanding of Texas guardianships. To provide additional context, we will highlight some significant concepts applicable to Texas residents who oppose and pursue guardianships.

Texas Law Provides Safeguards to Protect Against Improper Guardianships. Guardianships are severe legal remedies that strip away many freedoms that we hold dear. The creation of a guardianship is not taken lightly. If you oppose a guardianship, you have an entire menu of options at your disposal. If you are seeking a guardianship, be sure to comply with the demanding legal requirements.

Guardianships May Be Avoided with Less Restrictive Alternatives. In the last several years, Texas courts and lawmakers placed an emphasis on so-called less restrictive alternatives. Guardianships should not be created if there is a less intrusive way to care for the proposed ward. That may include powers of attorney, trusts, joint control over assets, or several other legal options. These options may preserve time, money, and the dignity of the proposed ward.

But Sometimes a Guardianship Is the Only Workable Solution. Less restrictive alternatives often fail if the proposed ward loses capacity before the alternatives can be put in place. Even if those alternatives were properly prepared while the proposed ward still had capacity, a guardianship may be necessary to protect the proposed ward from unscrupulous actors.

Proposed Wards Have the Right to Challenge Texas Guardianships. Every proposed ward is represented by an “attorney ad litem” charged with the duty to protect the proposed ward and oppose the guardianship at the proposed ward’s direction. Additionally proposed wards have the right to a full trial and can present testimony and other evidence in support of their mental capacity.

Selection of a Guardian May Be Hotly Disputed. Texas law sets many rules to guide courts in selecting a guardian. If challenged, a proposed guardian’s past can come back to haunt them. A probate attorney is invaluable to navigating these contentious proceedings.

We thank you for staying with us throughout this series. Texas guardianship law contains many nooks and crannies too detailed to discuss in the context of this blog. If you have questions or concerns about a guardianship, please contact us. We regularly help proposed wards and their loved ones with the pursuit and opposition of guardianships in probate courts throughout Texas, including in Dallas, Harris, Travis, Bexar, Denton, Collin, Ellis, Montgomery, Midland, and El Paso Counties.