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Is there more than one type of guardianship under Texas law?

The answer to the above-posed headline is that, indeed, Texas statutory law provides for more than one type of guardianship.

In fact, two distinct guardianships are frequently cited to and distinguished within the state, namely, guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate, respectively.

As noted in an online question-and-answer overview of Texas guardianships, the care rendered pursuant to those two types of appointments is quite different.

In summary form, guardianship of the person closely relates to a guardian attending to the physical needs and well-being of a so-called ward (either a minor or incapacitated older person). A guardian of an estate, conversely, is more closely associated with a ward’s property and finances.

In some instances, a guardianship appointment might apply to only one guardianship type. Alternatively, though, both guardianship types might be appointed for a ward.

The above-cited guardianship primer flatly states that the rules and procedures surrounding guardianship in Texas “are too complicated for a lay person to undertake without a lawyer’s help.” That source further notes that courts often refuse to even follow through on guardianship applications that lack input from an attorney.

The reasons underlying that judicial reluctance are several, and centrally include the need to prove a ward’s incapacity “by clear and convincing evidence.” That is an exacting duty, borne of the need to ensure that fraud, duress or other wrongdoing is not engaged in by a guardian to a ward’s detriment.

Indeed, the guardianship process in Texas has a number of detailed and complex features that need to be closely focused upon and scrupulously complied with. A proven estate planning attorney with proven acumen in guardianship matters can help ensure that such is the case.

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