Responsibilities and limitations of adult guardianship

A person who has been appointed by a Texas court to be an adult's guardian will be responsible for handling many aspects of the ward's daily life. Some of these responsibilities include making sure the ward's bills are paid on time, handling the ward's finances and maintaining the value of the ward's assets as much as possible.

A guardian will also be responsible for making sure that the ward has all of his or her living and medical needs met. The extent to which these needs should be met will depend on what is allowed by the financial resources that the ward has. Each year, the guardian will be responsible for filing a report with the court that made the guardianship appointment.

In addition to understanding the responsibilities of an adult guardianship, it is important for a guardian to understand the limitations of the position as well. An adult guardian does not supervise a ward 24 hours a day, and a guardian cannot stop the ward from committing unlawful acts or making bad decisions. The guardian would also not hold any legal responsibility for the repercussions of one of these acts or decisions. A guardian is not allowed to force a ward to take medication, and a guardian cannot place the ward in a mental hospital.

In many cases, adult guardianship is used when an adult is mentally or physically unable to take care for every aspect of their life. If a family believes that guardianship may benefit one of their adult family members, an attorney may be able to help facilitate the legal process that is involved.

Source: Department of aging and disability services, "A Texas Guide to Adult Guardianship", October 07, 2014

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