Guardianship FAQ

Texas Guardianship

At the Law Offices of David A. Munson, P.C., we recognize that if you are looking at this page then you are probably dealing with circumstances that are very difficult and sometimes extremely stressful. At this time you have questions about how to solve your problems or issues regarding a loved one. Either changes have occurred, need to occur, or are about to occur regarding your loved one. You possibly have a parent, child, spouse or other loved one that you have concerns for their personal, medical, and/or financial welfare. You possibly have even a healthcare provider or a financial institution tell you that a guardianship is needed or that you need letters of guardianship. The guardianship attorney's role is to help and advise you through this difficult time and difficult process that you are undergoing in your life or the life of your loved one.

What is a Guardianship?

A Guardianship in Texas is a legal creation in which a Judge in a Court of proper jurisdiction, after clear and convincing evidence is presented at a hearing, orders the appointment of a person, called a Guardian, over and for another person, called a Ward, after the Judge finds that the proposed Ward is an incapacitated person; it is in the best interest of the proposed Ward to have the Court appoint a person as a guardian of the proposed Ward; and the rights of the proposed Ward or the proposed Ward's property will be protected by a guardian. The guardianship effectively removes some or all of the rights of a Ward and gives them to the Guardian, whom is an officer of the Court and is fully responsible to the Court and the Ward as a fiduciary duty has been established.

What is a Ward?

A Ward is a person for whom a guardian has been appointed. A proposed Ward is a person for whom an application for guardianship has been filed against.

What is an Incapacitated Person?

An incapacitated person is a minor; and adult individual who, because of physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, to care for the individual's own physical health, or to manage the individual's own financial affairs; or a person who must have a guardian appointed to receive funds due the person from any governmental source.

What is a minor?

A minor in Texas is a person who is younger than 18 years of age and who has never been married or who has not had the person's disabilities of minority removed for general purposes.

What is a Guardianship of the Person?

A Guardianship of the Person in Texas is legally created when a Judge in a Court of proper jurisdiction, after clear and convincing evidence is presented at trial, orders the appointment of a Guardian over and for a Ward, and finds that the proposed Ward is an incapacitated person; it is in the best interest of the proposed Ward to have the Court appoint a person as a Guardian of the Person of the proposed Ward; and the rights of the proposed Ward or the proposed Ward's property will be protected by a Guardian of the Person. An incapacitated person in this case would be a proposed Ward, whom is either a minor or adult individual who, because of physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, to care for the individual's own physical health. Also, legal parents are the natural Guardian of the Person for their minor children. Sometimes parents of minor children need to become Guardian(s) of the Person for their children when their children turn 18 years of age, because the parents' natural guardianships of the person of the minor ends, but their children still need protection. A Guardianship of the Person is needed for any adult individual who, because of physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, to care for the individual's own physical health, and who does not already have a valid Medical Power of Attorney.

What is a Guardianship of the Estate?

A Guardianship of the Estate in Texas is legally created when a Judge in a Court of proper jurisdiction, after clear and convincing evidence is presented at trial, orders the appointment of a Guardian over and for a Ward, and finds that the proposed Ward is an incapacitated person; it is in the best interest of the proposed Ward to have the Court appoint a person as a Guardian of the Person of the proposed Ward; and the rights of the proposed Ward or the proposed Ward's property will be protected by a Guardian of the Person. An incapacitated person in this case would be a proposed Ward, whom is either a minor or adult individual who, because of physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to manage the individual's own financial affairs. Also, legal parents are the natural Guardian of the Person for their minor children, but the parents are not the natural Guardian of the Estate for their minor children. If a minor is to receive money or certain property from any source, a Guardianship of the Estate may need to be established in order to receive the property and account for the property correctly. A Guardianship of the Estate is needed for any adult individual who, because of physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to manage the individual's own financial affairs, and who does not already have a valid Statutory Durable Power of Attorney.

What is a Guardian of the Person?

The Guardian of the Person is the individual appointed by the Judge in a Court of proper jurisdiction who has the rights, duties and responsibility to care for the Ward's person upon qualification to serve as Guardian of the Person.

What is a Guardian of the Estate?

The Guardian of the Estate is the individual appointed by the Judge in a Court of proper jurisdiction who has the rights, duties and responsibility to manage for the Ward's finances upon qualification to serve as Guardian of the Estate.

What is a Letter of Guardianship or Letters of Guardianship?

A Letter of Guardianship or Letters of Guardianship in Texas is a document that is provided by the County Clerk that states and is proof that you have been appointed either the Guardian of the Person, Guardian of the Estate, or Guardian of the Person and Estate, for a Ward and that you have also qualified as the Guardian of the Ward. The Letter of Guardianship or Letters of Guardianship is what third parties will request for a Guardian to prove the existence of a Guardianship over a Ward.

How does a person become the Guardian of a Minor?

To become a Guardian of a Minor in Texas, a person must make application for guardianship to a Court of proper jurisdiction and venue, serve correct notice on all persons or parties entitled to such notice under the laws of the State of Texas, obtain specific evidence, have a hearing in Court in which the Judge appoints you as the guardian, file an oath, and file an approved bond. This is an extreme oversimplification of a very difficult process. Any person attempting to become either the Guardian of the Person, Guardian of the Estate, or Guardian of the Person and Estate of a Minor should retain, hire and pay a Guardianship Lawyer or Guardianship Attorney for advice and assistance.

How does a person become the Guardian of an Adult?

To become a Guardian of a Adult in Texas, a person must make application for guardianship to a Court of proper jurisdiction and venue, serve correct notice on all persons or parties entitled to such notice under the laws of the State of Texas, obtain specific evidence, have a hearing in Court in which the Judge finds that the proposed Ward needs a guardian and appoints you as the guardian, file an oath, and file an approved bond. This is an extreme oversimplification of a very difficult process. Any person attempting to become either the Guardian of the Person, Guardian of the Estate, or Guardian of the Person and Estate of an Adult should retain, hire and pay a Guardianship Lawyer or Guardianship Attorney for advice and assistance.

What are the responsibilities, duties, and powers of a Guardian of the Person after appointment?

Once a person has qualified to serve as Guardian of the Person in Texas for a Ward, the Guardian has the responsibility, duty and power to make decisions regarding the Ward's person, which could include living arrangements, medical decisions, educational decisions, and the like. Also, as Guardian of the Person, you must fulfill all of the duties of a Guardian of the Person, under the laws of the State of Texas . As one of those duties, each year, upon the anniversary of your qualification as the guardian of the person, you must file an annual report on the condition and welfare of the Ward. Upon the termination of the Guardianship of the Person, you must file a final report. A Guardianship of the Person terminates upon the death of the Ward, the restoration of the Ward, the minor Ward becoming an adult, or upon your resignation or inability to serve.

What are the responsibilities, duties, and powers of a Guardian of the Estate after appointment?

Once a person has qualified to serve as Guardian of the Estate in Texas for a Ward, the Guardian has the responsibility, duty and power to make decisions regarding the Ward's property and finances, which could include real estate, automobiles, checking accounts, financial accounts, and the like. Also, as Guardian of the Estate, you must fulfill all of the duties of a Guardian of the Estate, under the laws of the State of Texas . The duties of a Guardian of the Estate are so numerous that no list will be provided at this point. The rule of thumb for Guardian of the Estate is that you cannot do anything without written approval or signed Order from the Judge. Also, if you are a parent and the Guardian of the Estate for your minor child, you are obligated to pay for all of your child's needs regardless of the amount of assets that are in the Guardianship of your child's Estate. Every penny of the Estate must be accounted for by the Guardian of the Estate on a regular basis, and if it is not the Guardian of the Estate will be removed and possibly go to jail. This is an extreme oversimplification of a very difficult process. Any person appointed and qualified to serve as Guardian of the Estate or Guardian of the Person and Estate should retain, hire and pay a Guardianship Lawyer or Guardianship Attorney for advice and assistance.

Why do you need a Guardianship Attorney or a Guardianship Lawyer?

A Guardianship Attorney or Guardianship Lawyer in Texas is hired, retained and paid to assist a client during a challenging and stressful time during their life and/or the life of a loved one in becoming a Guardian for that loved one. In an attempt to be very honest and not to scare you, the process of becoming a Guardian for a person or an estate will be extremely hard and extremely stressful if you do not have the advice and assistance of a Guardianship Attorney or Guardianship Lawyer. Also, in another attempt to be very honest and not to scare you, administering a Guardianship of the Estate can be extremely hard and extremely stressful if you do not have the advice and assistance of a Guardianship Attorney or Guardianship Lawyer. David A. Munson, PC, is a group guardianship attorneys or lawyers and legal staff that can advise and assist you through this very difficult process. David A. Munson, PC, currently has two offices, one in The Woodlands, Texas ( Montgomery County ) and Houston , Texas ( Harris County ), and services all surrounding counties in Texas .