Guardianship and conservatorship refer to a situation in which someone, called a guardian, is given authority to act on behalf of a person called a ward who cannot act on his own. Children require guardians if they are under 18, but so do adults who are incapacitated by physical or mental illness or injury. Unfortunately, when an adult needs a guardian, the process of securing guardianship or conservatorship is a complicated one that requires family members to initiate legal proceedings during a difficult time in a family’s life.
The Bond Law Firm can provide assistance with guardianship and conservatorship. We help to determine if guardianship is needed, and our legal team helps to facilitate the formal process of having a guardian named.
Give us a call at (218) 448-4100 to find out about the personalized advice our Houston guardianship lawyers can provide and to get answers to questions you have about guardianship and conservatorship including:
- When is guardianship or conservatorship needed?
- How does guardianship or conservatorship work?
- How can a Houston guardianship or conservatorship lawyer help?
When is Guardianship or Conservatorship Needed?
Guardianship or conservatorship is needed if a physical illness or mental illness has made it impossible for a person to make decisions, exercise judgement, or express preferences regarding life choices. A physical or a mental illness could make guardianship necessary, as could a serious injury that leaves someone unconscious or impaired. If a child is under 18 and parents can no longer be the child’s guardians because of parental illness, incapacity, or death, then a guardian may also be appointed for the child.
Guardianship and conservatorship are inefficient procedures for allowing someone to assume decision-making authority and asset-management authority. If advanced incapacity plans are made by the person who has become incapacitated, then the court proceedings necessary to secure guardianship can be avoided. If no advanced plans are in place, guardianship may be the only option.
The Bond Law Firm helps to create a power of attorney and otherwise to plan ahead for incapacity so there will be no need for guardianship or conservatorship. Unfortunately, this planning must be done before a guardian is needed, so you should act now if you do not have an incapacity plan in place. Otherwise, it may be too late.
How Does Guardianship or Conservatorship Work?
Guardianship proceedings must be initiated when a person has been rendered unable to make his own choices or manage his own affairs. A close family member or friend can petition the court and the court will determine if incapacity actually does justify a guardianship or conservatorship.
The court will then assess who is in the best position to serve as a guardian and can officially appoint that person to be the conservator or guardian. The guardian or conservator has a fiduciary duty to act in the ward’s best interests at all times. The court oversees actions taken by the guardian, making certain that the steps being taken and decisions being made make sense in light of protecting and providing for the ward.
The Bond Law Firm provides help with the process of going to court so a guardian can be named, and we offer assistance in fulfilling your role as guardian. When you believe an adult in your family is no longer able to act on his own, you should take prompt action so his assets are not left unmanaged and so there is no period of uncertainty where it is unclear who should be looking out for the incapacitated persons’ interests.
Guardianship issues can also arise when a child’s parents pass away and a guardian must be named to care for the child and/or to manage assets left to the child. In these difficult situations, The Bond Law Firm is here to help you navigate the legal system and ensure that the vulnerable child is cared for and protected.
How can a Houston Conservatorship or Guardianship Lawyer Help?
The Bond Law Firm represents those who must go to court to become a guardian to a loved one. Our legal team also provides advice and guidance in planning so guardianship or conservatorship does not become needed. Once a guardian has been named, our legal team can also provide assistance in fulfilling guardianship duties and acting on behalf of the ward to provide for his or her needs.
We understand that guardianship and conservatorship are important tools aimed at protecting those who cannot protect themselves, and we know this area of law well. To find out more about the ways in which a Houston guardianship lawyer can assist your family during a difficult time, give us a call at (218) 448-4100 or contact us online today.