Most adults who are preparing for retirement in Texas would like to live independently for as long as possible. Putting together plans to age in place has become a go-to option for those thinking about their golden years. People may rework their finances or remodel their homes so that they can continue living independently for as long as possible as they age.
Despite those intentions, many older adults will eventually require daily support from someone else. Either they will move into a care facility or family members will take over managing their resources and meeting their needs. Guardianship is a way for concerned family members or even medical care providers to ask the state for the authority to manage someone’s finances and other affairs.
When will the state of Texas grant one adult guardianship over another adult?
After a major medical diagnosis
One of the most common reasons for medical professionals or family members to seek a guardianship is that an aging adult receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another medical condition that has a strong correlation with diminished capacity. When someone is no longer capable of managing their own affairs because of health issues, Texas can empower someone else to assume that responsibility.
After major financial oversights
Sometimes, the reason for guardianship is that an older adult has displayed an inability to manage their personal affairs. Often, that inability manifests in missed mortgage payments, duplicate payments to the electrical company or other financial blunders. The more evidence there is that someone has failed to meet their financial obligations or to manage their assets properly, the more likely the courts are to agree that intervention to preserve their resources throughout their retirement is likely necessary.
After some kind of accident or injury
Older adults are often acutely aware of their diminishing ability and will do their best to hide it from other people. They may even begin withdrawing from social relationships and canceling medical appointments so that they can maintain their independence for just a bit longer. Unfortunately, they might then fall while there is no one to help them get back up or fail to get treatment for a minor medical issue that then snowballs into a serious health concern. When there is evidence that someone has thoroughly mismanaged their day-to-day life and put themselves at risk in doing so, either family members or professionals may have a chance to seek a guardianship under Texas state law.
Recognizing when an older adult may require outside support could help prevent something tragic, like their total loss of independence or premature death.