This page will explain more about guardianship.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is appointed to act for someone without legal capacity to act for himself or herself. A person without capacity is known as a ward. A guardian may be appointed over the ward's person or estate or both.

Who determines if someone has capacity?

Ultimately, the court determines capacity, but, usually the process is started by a physician examining the proposed ward and certifying in writing that the ward is partially or totally incapacitated.

I thought guardians were appointed to take care of minors?

By definition, a minor lacks legal capacity unless he or she is emancipated, so, yes, some guardians are appointed over minor wards. But, many wards are adults who are or have become incapacitated. For example, guardians are appointed in many cases where an older ward has developed dementia and is no longer able to handle his or her affairs.

What is the difference between a guardian of a person and a guardian of an estate?

Generally speaking, a guardian of the person makes decisions regarding the ward's residence, medical care, and other similar matters. The guardian of the estate handles the property and finances of the ward. Both types of guardians must report periodically to the court and remain under court supervision for the term of their guardianship.

Is it difficult to obtain a guardianship?

Very. The applicant must prove incapacity by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher legal standard than applies in most civil matters. Also, Texas public policy favors employing "less restrictive means" whenever possible to avoid a guardianship. Guardianship is considered a harsh remedy, since you are terminating some or all of the ward's legal rights. Courts are reluctant to do so unless convinced that it's the only way to protect the ward. If you are involved in a situation and you think guardianship may be an appropriate remedy, please contact a qualified attorney to discuss.