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 to 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 capacity to make decisions for themselves. Their incapacity may be related to their struggle with dementia or 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’ person or financial affairs. 

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

  • Pay bills
  • Manage money
  • Make healthcare decisions

How the Process Works

Whether dealing with a child with special needs turning 18 or an individual who lacks 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 a guardianship
  2. Acquire a Certificate of Medical Examination
  3. Submit an Application for Appointment of Permanent Guardian and file with your local court
  4. Complete guardianship training through Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC)
  5. Submit to 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 guardian.

Reach out to us today for a consultation on your guardianship case.