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What does Texas law require in appointing a guardian?

Who needs a guardian? Most everyone in Texas would probably agree that children need guardians. But that's a role typically filled by one or both of the child's parents. Once a child becomes an adult that guardianship role may get taken off the parents' plate. However, if individuals can't take care of themselves for some reason, then the parent's guardian role might need to continue. A guardian might also need to be appointed if a loved one suddenly becomes incapacitated.

You may have heard of cases in which someone sought to have another person declared incapacitated and to have a guardian appointed to take care of their physical, medical and financial needs. Most of the time this is done with the best of intentions but sometimes the motivations aren't so altruistic. That's why Texas law requires certain criteria be met to prove a person is incapacitated and that a guardian is needed.

Because the process is complex, an experienced attorney's help is always recommended.

To seek guardianship, a court must be convinced:

  • There is clear evidence of alleged incapacity
  • The proposed ward's best interest will be served by appointing a guardian
  • All alternatives to guardianship have been explored and found lacking

To appoint a guardian, a court must find that:

  • It has jurisdiction of the matter
  • The proposed guardian is eligible or that whoever is named is appropriate for the job

This is just a small sampling of the requirements established by Texas law for seeking and obtaining a guardianship order. Depending on the specific situation, other requirements or processes may have to be followed, so an attorneys help is crucial.

Source: Texas Legislative Statutes, "Determination of necessity of guardianship; Findings and proof," accessed June 10, 2016

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