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When mom or dad become incapacitated, you may seek a guardianship

Watching parents age and become less able to care for themselves can be difficult go through for most adults. No one wants to see their parents this way, but it happens. When it does, whether you reside in Texas or elsewhere, it may be possible for you to seek guardianship of your elderly parent -- under the right circumstances.

When might a guardianship be the best thing?

The granting of guardianships occurs when a person is no longer able to care for him or herself or if he or she lacks mental clarity to make important decisions about various aspects of his or her life. When a parent reaches this stage, caring for your parent directly may be the best thing.

What steps do I need to take to achieve a guardianship?

Guardianship of an elderly parent may be sought if that individual does not have advance directives in place or a power of attorney. To seek guardianship, you will have to petition the court in order to have your parent declared incompetent. The declaration of incompetence can only come after the completion of a full evaluation of your parent.

If your parent meets the state's guidelines for incompetency, you can then petition the court for guardianship. Depending on your family situation and if there are any challenges to your petition, this process can take time.

Responsibilities of a guardian

If granted guardianship over your parent, you will have a long list of things for which you will be responsible. Common responsibilities include:

  • Providing for daily needs
  • Advocating for legal rights
  • Making medical care and treatment decisions
  • Ensuring a safe and appropriate living environment

Of course, what is on the list will depend on the current limitations your parent is experiencing.

Limitations

Being a guardian will not give you the right to do whatever you want. There are limitations. The limitations of your power will be included in the Letters of Appointment. If there is anything specific you want added to this document, it will require court approval.

Still want to pursue a guardianship?

Being a guardian and taking care of an elderly parent is a tough job, one that should not be taken on lightly. An experienced attorney can provide further information about what the state of Texas expects of those granted guardianship. If this is still a role you are ready to accept, your legal counsel can assist you in your efforts to make it happen.

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