Experienced Houston Guardianship Attorney Whitney L. Thompson - Guardianships Law in Texas

All over the country, there is an increase in the life expectancy of elderly people. Over the past two decades, this has led to a surge in demand for guardianship. Houston is not an exception. In the city, many elderly persons are unable to make financial or welfare decisions on their own. Others, however, can still manage critical tasks or communicate their wishes.

In the past, care was given to the elderly by relatives or friends. However, there were many reports about abuse and neglect, and financial exploitation. Texas has now established a legal guardianship system. Experienced guardianship attorney Whitney L. Thompson has dealt with many of these cases, and can help families plan the future care of their loved ones.

Our mission at The Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson is to help prospective guardians and their wards navigate the guardianship process. In Houston, guardianship is a process we know well, and are committed to helping our clients get the best outcome.

Contact us at (281) 214-0173 to schedule a consultation for your guardianship or estate planning needs.

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What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is the legal vehicle utilized to provide parents of children with special needs the ability to continue to make decisions for their child when the child transitions into adulthood. If you are the parent of a special needs child who is turning 18 soon, it is normal to worry about their future. You’re likely thinking of what will happen once you pass. Who will care for them when you’re not there?

Similarly, guardianship is the appropriate vehicle when you are responsible for an aging parent, grandparent, or family member who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves. Their incapacity may be related to their struggle with dementia or a medical condition that has rendered them incapacitated.

As the guardian of the person and/or estate, you or your designated appointee will make decisions for your loved ones’ personal or financial affairs.

While there are limits to what a guardian can do, they can help:

  • Pay bills
  • Manage money
  • Make healthcare decisions

Houston guardianships can be complicated. Whether it is for a person or an estate, applying for guardianship has its own challenges. Texas estate planning lawyer Whitney L. Thompson has the knowledge and experience needed to navigate the guardianship law in Texas.

Contact us today at (281) 214-0173 to schedule a consultation.

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Types of Guardianships in Texas

A court can establish different types of guardianships, such as Guardianship for the Person Guardianship for the Estate, or Guardianship for both person and the estate. 

  • Guardianship of the person – This guardianship is designed to provide support for Ward’s physical, mental, social, educational, and psychological needs.
  • Guardianship of an Estate – This guardianship is designed to protect and manage the finances and assets of a Ward.
  • Guardianship of the Person & the Estate – A guardianship that is designed to protect and manage the financial, physical, educational, and psychological needs of Wards.
  • Minor Guardianship – A guardianship of a child which may also include inheritance from the parents, such as real estate and life insurance.

These guardianships can be either partial or complete, depending on what the case requires. A partial guardianship allows the Ward to retain all rights that are not limited by the court.

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The Role of a Guardian in Texas

Guardians is responsible for protecting the estate and guarding the ward to the extent allowed by law. Keep in mind that guardians have limited powers and responsibilities and cannot do anything that was not authorized by the court when they were appointed.

The guardian may request an order from the court for the guardian’s expanded authority to assist the ward if the capacity of the ward is reduced further. The court appoints the guardian. This means that the guardian must report to the court each year about the health and welfare of the ward, as well as the estate. Any financial transactions or actions taken for the benefit of the ward must be kept by the guardian.

Common misconceptions about the role of guardians are that they can be held responsible for bad behavior. However, this is false. Except where the guardian is personally liable, a guardian cannot be held responsible for bad actions committed by the ward. A guardian does not have to pay for care for the ward with his/her own money.

Guardianship lawyer Whitney L. Thompson and her legal team at the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson are experienced in helping families deal with guardianship. We dedicate our time and effort to making sure our clients are treated with care during the process. We can help with your Texas guardianship needs.

Contact our office today at (281) 214-0173 to speak with an experienced Houston attorney. 

While temporary guardianships may be hard to attain, they can often be necessary for some situations. Temporary guardianships are only granted when there is an urgent need to protect the property or person and imminent harm. One example is when a relative takes money from the bank account of the ward without permission. There are many things that temporary guardianship will require, including substantial evidence of incapacity.

Temporary guardianships usually last up to 60 days unless it is contested. During this time the temporary guardian, or any other interested party, must gather all necessary information to prove to the court the need for a permanent guardian.

Contact our office today at (281) 214-0173 to schedule a consultation.

Texas Guardianship Certification Board

The Guardianship Certification Board was established by the Texas Legislature in 2005. It serves as a Texas Supreme Court branch. The board established certification standards for private professional guardians and ensures that these requirements are adhered to. The state requires any guardian who is paid monetary compensation to become certified. Before being certified, guardians have to pass an examination. They also need to meet specific educational and work experience requirements.

Guardianship Certification Board requirements do not apply to family members, friends, attorneys, or financial institutions that play the guardian role are exempted from these requirements.

Houston Guardianship: Court Filing Process

The proper places to file a guardianship application over an adult are the county in which the proposed ward is living, the county in which the proposed ward resides at the moment of filing the application, or the county where the principal property is for the proposed ward. The proper place to file an application for guardianship over a minor is the county in which the parents live or the county in which the parent lives with the child most frequently.

According to Texas laws about guardianship, a guardianship request will usually be handled by the county court in smaller counties. The guardianship applications will be handled by a separate probate court in larger counties. The guardianship is typically administered by the same court until the end. If a ward is transferred, however, to another county or state, the guardianship can also be transferred to the new state.

After a guardianship application has been filed, the court will name an attorney ad-litem to represent the ward. According to the Texas Estates Code, the attorney ad litem is responsible for representing the ward. They meet the proposed guardian and the ward before any hearing to discuss legal options.

Experienced Houston attorney Whitney L. Thompson has the knowledge and skills needed to navigate guardianships in Houston.  She has helped many families in Texas deal with the process and application of guardianship for their loved ones.

Contact the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson today at (281) 214-0173 to learn more about guardianship or estate planning.

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Attorney Whitney L. Thompson Discusses How the Guardianship Process Works

Whether dealing with a child with special needs turning 18 or an individual who lacks the capacity to designate a medical or statutory durable power of attorney, the process for obtaining guardianship is similar.

  1. Hire an attorney to assist you because it is required in Texas to seek guardianship
  2. Acquire a Certificate of Medical Examination
  3. Submit an Application for Appointment of Permanent Guardian and file it with your local court
  4. Complete guardianship training through Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC)
  5. Submit a criminal background check through JBCC

Additionally, an attorney will be appointed to represent your child or loved one. Your attorney will also ensure the child or individual you are seeking guardianship over has been personally served by a constable. Finally, a guardianship hearing will take place in court. A judge will then weigh the circumstances and make the final decision as to who is most fit to be a guardian. Reach out to us today for a consultation on your guardianship case.

Call (281) 214-0173 to speak with an experienced Houston attorney.

The Importance of Having a Guardianship Lawyer

Guardianship proceedings may be necessary to provide protection for a person who has lost the ability to make decisions for themselves. To navigate the steps involved in appointing a guardian for a child, it is crucial to hire a qualified attorney for guardianship. Having a skilled guardianship attorney may be able to help the families weigh their options and choose what is best for their family. 

Families may agree on who is best qualified to be guardians. However, there may be a conflict between family members regarding the selection of guardians. Before you hire a lawyer to help with guardianship proceedings, it is essential to understand the process.

Although guardianships can be costly and complicated, they may sometimes prove to be necessary. Guardianship laws were created to safeguard the rights and interests of the ward and establish procedures to ensure that guardians follow the rules. A trusted attorney will be able to help you review them.

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Getting the Legal Advice of a Skilled Guardianship Attorney at The Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson

Attorney Whitney L. Thompson is a skilled and experienced lawyer for guardianship. She and her team of legal professionals are dedicated to helping you learn about the rights and responsibilities that guardians have. She is familiar with the legal and emotional complexities surrounding the establishment of Texas guardianship. We are ready to help you, no matter if you need to become a guardian of someone else, a guardian of a property, or if you have to challenge an existing guardianship agreement.

Contact us today at (281) 214-0173 if you need assistance with guardianship issues

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