Through adult guardianship, a trusted loved one can assume the legal responsibility of acting on behalf of an incapacitated person. You may be wondering: Can you pre-designate an adult guardian in Texas? The answer is ‘yes’—and Texas has a specialized form that you can use to do so. Here, our San Antonio guardianship attorney explains the key things to know about pre-selecting your own adult guardian in Texas.
Texas Law: Adult Guardianship and Ward Preference
Guardianship is a legal process whereby one person takes over the legal rights and legal responsibilities of a vulnerable person. A guardian is a person who is appointed by a court to assume responsibility for acting on behalf of an incapacitated person. A ‘ward’ is an incapacitated person whose rights and responsibilities have been transferred to another party.
When putting an adult guardianship in place, Texas will consider the desires of the ward. Under Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 1104.002, “the court shall make a reasonable effort to consider the incapacitated person’s preference of the person to be appointed guardian” before finalizing an adult guardianship. Of course, an incapacitated person may not be in a position to give direct input.
Know the Suggested Form for Pre-Designation
Texas offers an option for people who want to give direct input into who would serve as their adult guardian, should one become necessary at some point in the future. In Texas, you can complete a form called the Designation of Guardian in Advance of Need. By using this form, a person can clearly express their desire for a specific adult guardian if they become incapacitated. Assuming that the appointed person is willing and capable of serving as an adult guardian, Texas courts will give considerable deference to the ward’s own pre-designated wishes.
A Comprehensive Estate Plan May Be a Better Alternative to an Adult Guardianship
Adult guardianship is not necessary in every case. Even a highly vulnerable person may not need adult guardianship. Other estate planning tools—including a durable power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney—may be sufficient to give your loved ones the power that they need to protect your best interests in the event that you are no longer able to act on your own behalf. An experienced San Antonio estate planning lawyer will be able to put the system in place that provides the maximum amount of protection to you and your family.
Contact Our San Antonio Guardianship Attorney for Legal Guidance
At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas guardianship lawyers are compassionate, experienced advocates for people and families. If you have any questions about pre-selecting an adult guardian in Texas, we are available to help. Contact us today for a completely confidential initial consultation.
Our estate planning team provides guardianship representation throughout the area, including in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Castroville, Boerne, Bulverde, Pleasanton, and San Marcos.