A guardian is a person who is appointed to manage the personal and financial affairs of another person. In the context of a Texas estate plan, a guardian may be appointed to manage the affairs of a minor child or a disabled adult.
In this article, we will discuss the types of guardians in Texas, the process of appointing a guardian, the duties and responsibilities of a guardian, and more. Understanding the role of a guardian in a Texas estate plan is important for anyone who is considering creating or modifying their Texas estate plan.
Types of Guardians in Texas
In Texas, several types of guardians may be appointed to make decisions on behalf of someone else. These main types of guardians include:
1. Guardians of a person: A guardian of the person is responsible for making decisions about the personal care and welfare of the person for whom they are appointed, such as where they will live, what medical treatment they will receive, and what activities they will engage in.
2. Guardians of an estate: A guardian of the estate is responsible for managing the financial affairs of the person for whom they are appointed, including paying bills, managing investments, and making financial decisions.
Other types of guardian roles for which a person may be appointed include:
1. Temporary guardianship: A temporary guardian is appointed on a temporary basis to make decisions for someone else when the need for a guardian is urgent, and the appointment of a permanent guardian is not immediately possible.
2. Standby guardians: A standby guardian is a person who has been designated to become the guardian of a person or estate in the event that the current guardian becomes unable to fulfill their duties due to death, incapacity, or other circumstances.
3. Limited guardians: A limited guardian is a person who has been appointed to make decisions for someone else in a limited or specific area, such as making medical decisions or managing a specific aspect of their financial affairs.
Appointing a Guardian in Texas
There are several ways to appoint a guardian in Texas, including through a will, trust, or court system.
In Texas, a person can appoint a guardian through a will. This is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes and desires for their estate and assets after they pass away. In the will, the person can name a guardian for their minor children. The named guardian will have the authority to make decisions about the ward’s care and well-being, including medical decisions, educational matters, and financial matters.
A trust is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets should be managed and distributed after they pass away. In Texas, a person can appoint a guardian through a trust by naming a trustee to oversee the trust and make decisions on behalf of the ward. The trustee will have the authority to make decisions about the ward’s care and well-being, including medical decisions, education, and financial matters.
If a person does not have a will or trust in place, or if there is a dispute over who should be appointed as the guardian, a guardian can be appointed through the court system in Texas. This process involves filing a petition in court and having a hearing to determine the best interests of the ward. In Texas, “the ward” may mean someone who is underage. It can also refer to an adult who needs a guardian to help out.
The court will consider the ward’s wishes, the opinions of family and medical professionals, and any potential conflicts of interest when making a decision on who should be appointed as the guardian.
Can You Appoint a Guardian for Yourself in the Event of an Illness or Incapacity?
Contrary to what many believe, in Texas, a person can appoint a guardian for themselves in the event of an illness or incapacity. This is known as a “durable power of attorney.” A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to appoint someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves. The person appointed as the person’s durable power of attorney has the authority to make decisions about the person’s medical care, financial affairs, and legal matters.
It is important to note that a durable power of attorney only goes into effect if the person becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves; it does not apply while the person is still able to make their own decisions.
The Importance of Including Guardianship Roles in Your Texas Estate Plan
Including guardianship provisions in your Texas estate plan can be very important for several reasons.
First and foremost, guardianship provisions allow you to designate who you want to care for your minor children if you are unable to do so. This can provide peace of mind and ensure that your children are raised in accordance with your values and wishes.
Another benefit of including guardianship provisions in your Texas estate plan is that it can help to ensure that you are properly supported if you are unable to take care of (or make decisions) for yourself. By designating a guardian for yourself, you can help ensure that you are able to receive the care and support you need to thrive, no matter what.
Overall, including guardianship provisions in your Texas estate plan can help reduce the stress and burden on your loved ones in the event of your incapacitation or death. By clearly stating your wishes and making your intentions known, you can help to ease the burden on your loved ones and allow them to focus on their grief and healing.
Speak to a Texas Estate Planning Attorney
If you are interested in learning more about how to include a guardianship provision in your Texas estate plan, contact the Kazi Law Firm today toll-free at 1-888-500-KAZI (5294) for more information. We are happy to answer any questions you have about your estate plan and can help you develop a plan that best suits the needs of you and your loved ones.