Guardianships and Probate

Picture of Duane and Louellen Coker in ChinaA guardianship is most commonly necessary when an adult has become partially or totally incapacitated and needs someone else to take care of their important affairs—business, health decisions, estate management, and so on. It is very important to obtain the guardianship as soon as a disabled child becomes an adult or an adult becomes disabled. If you are not the person’s legal guardian, you will not legally be able to do simple tasks for them like selling their car or deciding where they will live.

A guardianship may also be necessary when a minor inherits a large estate, such as life insurance proceeds.

The guardianship process involves filing an application with the Court asking that one person, usually the person filing out the application, be appointed as guardian of another person, the proposed ward, and/or of the proposed ward’s estate.

An attorney will then be appointed to represent the proposed ward. That attorney, along with the probate court investigator, will conduct a thorough review to make sure a guardianship is necessary.

One of the probate court’s primary concerns is that the guardianship be established in the least restrictive way possible. For example, if an elderly person is unable to handle complicated matters concerning their health care, but is still very keen on political issues and is able to take care of their residence and other matters, then the guardianship would be set up so that the guardian has the express power to make health care decisions, but the ward retains the right to vote, to establish their residence, and to take care of other things as they are able.

Our Denton County guardianship practice:

With the presence of the Denton State School and several senior communities, Denton County has one of the highest per capita rates for guardianship cases in Texas. Our Statutory Probate Court strictly enforces the requirements of the Texas Probate Code that guardianships be tailored in the least restrictive manner possible. Hiring a Denton attorney, who is familiar with the specific requirements of the Denton County Statutory Probate Court, is a good first step in obtaining the guardianship you need to help your loved ones in his or her time of need.

Our staff collectively has had over 15 years of guardianship experience in Denton County, and we are well versed and acquainted with the probate court staff and their requirements and preferences for creating viable guardianships. Not only have we represented potential guardians for these cases, but we’ve also been appointed by the probate court to represent proposed wards on numerous occasions. We have seen how it works on both sides, so we can conclusively say that we are quite familiar with the ins and outs of handling guardianship cases.

To help us help you, please take the time to complete the following before your initial consultation. Your response to these questions will help us organize your case and will save you attorney’s fees as well as help you to avoid gathering and assembling information after the case is in progress.

Since your answers are being made to an attorney, your confidentiality is assured and you are protected by the attorney-client privilege. Please answer as fully as possible.

Probate

Guardianships are not the only matters we handle in the Probate Court. We can help you plan your estate, including creating basic estate planning packages, such as the all encompassing Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and Directive to Physicians package.

We also handle probating Wills and litigating contested Wills. Probating a Will involves administering an estate and taking care of all claims to the decedent’s property and assets as the decedent has set out in his or her Will. Occasionally, parties privy to the Will will contest its instructions and/or designations of executor or beneficiaries, which results in a contested Will litigation. This may also be necessary for heirs and outside parties who have claims against the estate.

Handling any form of probating Wills should be taken care of by experienced probate attorneys, even if the Will is uncontested. Visit our contact page and let us know how we can help you with your estate planning or Probate cases.