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Guardianship: Free and Reliable Information

Health & Benefits

This article provides the options a person of age or who is suffering from a disease or injury has in regards to guardianship. Specifically, how one is appointed and their role as a guardian. This article was written by the State Bar of Texas. 

Protecting the Incapacitated

Some people need help managing their daily affairs because of their age, a disease or an injury. If this happens, a court of law may appoint a guardian for them.

Guardian and ward are legal terms used to indicate the relationship between someone who protects another (the guardian) and the person being protected (the ward). In Texas, the process to appoint a guardian includes:

  • Filing an application with a court
  • Having a hearing before a judge
  • Having a judge appoint a guardian, if one is needed

Because having a guardian takes away a person’s rights, it should be the last and the best choice to protect someone. Before asking a court to appoint a guardian, other options are usually tried first, such as:

  • Finding someone to help the person pay bills and manage money
  • Finding someone to help the person make decisions, including health care decisions
  • Enrolling the person in available community services, including Medicaid programs

Once a guardian is appointed, it often becomes permanent. However, if things change significantly, a judge can decide a guardian no longer is needed.

A Texas guide to adult guardianship, Protecting The Incapacitatedis found on