When a loved one can no longer care for themselves physically or mentally, they may be considered legally incapacitated. This generally means that they are unable to care of themselves, and are unable to engage in basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, feeding, and clothing themselves. They may also be unable to make decisions or manage their financial or personal affairs.
If you find that your relative is partially or fully incapacitated, you may consider becoming their guardian. While a guardian of the estate controls the incapacitated person’s finances and assets, a guardian of the person controls the incapacitated person’s medical care and personal matters. As a guardian, your power may be limited depending on the extent of the person’s incapacity.
Applying for guardianship in Texas
If you find that you need to become the guardian of a loved one, your attorney can file an application for guardianship with the court on your behalf. Then, a physician will have to evaluate your loved one and certify them as ‘incapacitated.’ Your relatives and other interested parties will also be notified.
There will then be a hearing that you, the incapacitated person (if medically able), and your elder law attorneys will have to attend. The court will hear your reasons for requesting guardianship and if appointed, you will need to sign an oath agreeing to fulfill the duties required of you. A guardian who violates their duties may be removed by the court.
While a guardianship is one option, it is not the only option to care for an incapacitated loved one. An attorney can advise you on what will be best for your loved one.