Application for Guardianship (person)
The following is a general overview (some situations may require adjustments) of actions that are required in order for an Applicant to receive a County Court at Law or Statutory Probate Court (depends on specific County) appointment to serve as guardian of the person.
- This office prepares the MENTAL STATUS REPORT for the Physician/ Psychologist from name(s) and address(es) provided to this office. (If the primary basis of the incapacity is mental retardation, a psychologist’s mental status report completed within 2 years of the Application may be submitted.) Texas law now requires information be in report about the incapacitated person’s ability to vote, drive an automobile and determine residence.
- This office prepares the APPLICATION, reviews MD/Psychiatrist/Psychologist’s report and incorporates facts into the application. All Applicants to serve as guardian will have a “criminal background check” ordered by the County Clerk.
- Applicant reviews the Application and signs VERIFICATION OF FACTS (attested to by Notary).
- APPLICATION is placed on file in County of residence. A copy is sent by USPS certified mail, r.r.r. to any residential facility or day care where proposed ward might attend, as well as to adult siblings and other specified persons. Personal service is required for parents. The person required under statute to receive notice can waive the specific form of notice. However, the person who is the subject of the proceeding must be served with the personal citation (cannot waive notice).
- Statutory wait
- The COURT INVESTIGATOR (for most counties) will meet with the proposed ward and file a report (to recommend or not recommend Guardianship). This can take from 2 days to 3 weeks after the statutory wait.
- The Court will appoint an ATTORNEY AD LITEM as required by Texas Statute, (within 2 days to 2 weeks after investigator’s report recommending guardianship) who will meet with proposed ward, review medical reports, and interview MD/Psychiatrist/Psychologist if necessary.
- The Applicant’s Attorney and Attorney ad litem will coordinate dates (with input from Applicant) for Court Hearing of the application.
- COURT HEARING. This office will provide the Applicant with the questions to be asked. The application will request that the requirement of posting BOND be minimized. The Attorney ad Litem will charge a fee for services after the Hearing.
- After Bond is posted and Guardian files the Oath, the Guardian can order the LETTERS OF GUARDIANSHIP.
- After guardianship application is granted, this Law Office prepares a DECLARATION OF GUARDIANSHIP IN THE EVENT OF DEATH OR INCAPACITY (if a parent is named guardian) whereby a parent who serves as guardian can nominate successor guardians. This can reduce the necessary Court involvement after a ward’s parent’s death/incapacity. A successor guardian may be appointed by the Court through submission without a Hearing. This is an added convenience in making the Declaration of successor guardian independent from a parent guardian’s Will.
- Every year within 90 days of the anniversary of the Application for Guardianship, the Guardian files a REPORT ON THE CONDITION OF THE WARD (the Letters of Guardianship will specify the expiration date), as well as submits proof of Bond (if Guardian purchased Bonding insurance). Customized forms of the Annual Report on the Condition of the Ward are provided to the Guardian after Guardianship Hearing.