For many grandparents, aunts and uncles and extended family members, it seems as if obtaining guardianship of a minor-aged relative should be a simple matter for the Texas courts to decide. In this blog update, we will discuss some of the issues that make a successful guardianship petition more complicated than many people realize under Texas law.

Rights And Responsibilities Of A Guardian Requires A Background Check

According to the non-profit Texas Guardianship Association, the petition process is designed to make sure the ward (minor-aged child or incapacitated adult) will be protected from physical abuse or neglect by the person or persons seeking guardianship. One of the rights and responsibilities of a guardian is to provide for the care and well-being of the ward. In many cases, a minor-aged child may have financial assets available. A thorough background check is required to ensure the minor will not be placed under the guardianship of a person who may exploit him or her for financial, criminal or emotional reasons.

 

What Will The Guardian Be Expected To Provide?

  • Guardians in Texas will be expected to serve as the ward’s power of attorney, with signing authority to make decisions that protect the rights and best interests in the areas of health care, legal and finance.
  • The guardian of an incapacitated adult will be expected to protect the ward’s rights regarding community property, in the event of a divorce.
  • The guardian will be expected to invest, save or otherwise protect the ward’s financial assets in such a way as to not squander or misuse the financial resources available for care.
  • The guardian has the right to authorize the hiring of an attorney or other advocate to protect the ward’s legal rights.
  • The guardian will serve as the authorized representation for Social Security benefits that may be available to the ward.

Because of the responsibilities guardians maintain over their ward’s finances and well-being, it is important that the courts review every petition carefully. Although there are several non-profit agencies in Texas that will answer your questions, the legal process can be complicated and should be managed through the office of a qualified, experienced family law attorney.