There are many factors that may lead you to seek control over a family member's affairs. If your parents are aging or becoming senile and it is too late to invoke power of attorney, you may consider a guardianship as an alternative solution. This is ideal for situations in which you need to oversee medical care and finances, too. Whether you are seeking to serve as guardian for a parent or another family member, you should know the following facts before you decide to pursue a guardianship.
The arrangement must be court ordered
According to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, a guardianship must be established and approved by a court. This is achieved when an application of appointment is filed and an guardian is appointed at the ensuing hearing. Once this occurs, the guardian is officially responsible for their family member-also called the ward-and their general wellbeing.
Guardians handle all responsibilities
Guardianship is a major step for many reasons, but anybody who is considering it should understand that they will assume all responsibilities for the life and wellbeing of the ward. This means that you will need to coordinate health care, manage finances and provide whatever other services are needed. Handling all of these responsibilities can be stressful, so it is best to be sure you are prepared before you file an application.
A judge will oversee the guardianship
Although you will assume all responsibilities for your ward, you will receive support from the court and judge. In fact, a judge will be specifically appointed to oversee the guardianship and ensure that the ward is receiving adequate care. This judge may also offer guidance and directives regarding the routine you establish once you become a guardian. If your arrangement is limited, a judge may choose which decisions you are and are not able to make for the ward.
You need to file regular reports
Just as the judge will supervise the guardianship to monitor your progress and the care you are providing, you should be in consistent contact with the court in order to provide reports and maintain records of the ward's health and wellbeing. As a guardian, this is one of the most important responsibilities, and it is important to provide detailed reports.
If somebody you love is aging or otherwise in need of assistance, a guardianship may be the best option. Consult with an attorney if you are interested in learning about other legal options you have.