Guardianship: A Way To Care For Family Members Who Can No Longer Manage Their Health Or Affairs

Due to dementia, illness or infirmities, it may be that your loved one can no longer manage his or her own affairs. They may be neglecting their health and hygiene or even pose a danger to themselves or others.

If the time has come to intervene, it may be necessary to assert guardianship (sometimes called conservatorship). The attorneys of McCullough & McCullough can guide you through the process of getting appointed as a legal guardian. We also provide continuing legal counsel for the annual accountabilities of guardianship.

We handle guardianship in Cameron County and surrounding jurisdictions of South Texas. Call our Harlingen law office at 956-320-1320 to arrange a consultation.

The Process Of Becoming A Guardian

There are two types of guardianship in Texas. The court can appoint two separate individuals or empower one person to serve both roles:

  • Guardianship of the person — Decisions about living arrangements, health care and day-to-day well-being
  • Guardianship of the estate — Control of the person's financial accounts, business affairs and legal matters

Most typically, an adult child is seeking guardianship of an elderly parent, but the guardian can be a spouse, relative or nonfamily member. You must petition the probate court in the county where your loved one resides to be officially appointed as guardian. This may be done with the consent of the person (ward) whose health or mental capacity is declining. Otherwise, the court must first determine that the person is incapable of making decisions or governing his or her own care, which requires clear and convincing proof, including a certificate from a physician.

The court also must determine that the person seeking appointment is fit to serve as guardian — competent for the tasks, of good character and not motivated by self-interest. We prepare clients for the proceedings to anticipate questions and obtain an appointment as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Ongoing Duties Of Guardianship

The court's paramount concern is the best interests of the ward. Once appointed, guardians must answer to the court on an annual basis regarding the care and protection of the ward, as well as an accounting of assets, investments, expenditures and transactions on behalf of the ward. We assist clients with documentation and reporting per the stipulations of the guardianship appointment. Our firm has also been hired to clean up existing guardianships that were mismanaged because of poor legal advice or substandard accounting. We can help you come into compliance and satisfy the court that you should continue as guardian.

Do You Wish To Be Appointed Guardian?

We handle guardianships in Harlingen and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Call us at 956-320-1320 or contact us online to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We accept credit cards.