For most people, watching parents age can be difficult. Physical and/or mental health issues may set in that make it challenging and sometimes even impossible for them to care for themselves adequately. If you have a parent who has become incapacitated in some way, according to Texas laws, you can seek guardianship so that you may be awarded the legal right to make necessary decisions for him or her.
When is seeking a guardianship appropriate? What are the responsibilities that come with this role?
When to pursue guardianship
A time may come when your parent is not able to appropriately manage his or her finances or make clear and rational decisions regarding various aspects of his or her life. If that happens, then you may want to pursue a guardianship.
Your request for guardianship will not be granted without considerable thought on a judge's part. You will need to supply evidence that guardianship is actually necessary. Then there is the matter of powers of attorney or advanced directives. If your parent has either of these legal protections in place, your request for guardianship is not likely to receive court approval.
Role of a guardian
If awarded guardianship of a parent, you will be responsible for a lot of different things. Some include:
- Making health care decisions
- Making financial decisions
- Keeping financial records
- Protecting his or her legal rights
- Ensuring daily needs are appropriately met
The scope of your role will really depend on your parent's current limitations and what the court feels serves your parent's best interests.
How to seek a guardianship
Before a judge will grant you guardianship, your parent has to go through competency testing. Both a medical doctor and a behavioral specialist generally complete this. If, after testing incompetence is officially declared, you may file a guardianship petition in court.
Help is available
A guardianship role is not for everyone. It is hard work that can really take a toll on your personal and professional lives. If you do believe it is the best decision for your family, however, it is good to go for it. An experienced attorney can help you do all that is necessary to seek a guardianship.