When an adult in Texas becomes incapacitated and does not have an incapacity plan in place, it’s up to a Texas court to step in and name a guardian to manage that person’s affairs. The guardian’s duties will be determined by the court. These can include everything from managing the incapacitated adult’s finances, as well as making day-to-day decisions. For example, the guardian will choose where the person will live, who he or she interacts with, and what medical treatments that person will receive.
An incapacitated adult, known as a ward, can also regain his or her abilities. Here’s what you need to know about guardianship in Dallas Texas.
Adults who become incapacitated can no longer make their own decisions or manage their own affairs. To determine if an adult is incapacitated, a Texas court will hold a hearing. If there is enough evidence to show that the adult is no longer capable, the court will then determine the adults is incapacitated and will appoint one or more guardians.
In some situations it’s possible for a ward to recover at least some of his or her abilities. For example, an adult who suffer serious injuries as the result of an automobile accident can often be left comatose or unable to communicate. Once a court appoints a guardian, the guardian will have the ability to make decisions on behalf of the ward.
But a lot of people recover from their injuries. Even if the incapacitated adult never regains all of his or her abilities, regaining some abilities can lead to a court modifying the guardianship. In a modification the court will determine what abilities the incapacitated person has regained. It might allow, for example, the incapacitated person to control a portion of his or her own finances, while still allowing the guardian to manage the rest.
Restoration and Termination
When a ward regains capacity the court can also order his or her decision-making rights restored, and the rights of the guardian to make decisions on the ward’s behalf terminated.
To order a restoration, the court has to be convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that the ward is now capable of making his or her decisions. This means that the evidence must show that it is more likely than not that the formerly incapacitated person is not capable of making decisions.
It’s also possible for a court order a termination of the guardianship. Terminations can result from a restoration of the ward’s rights, but also from other conditions, such as the ward’s death.
Of course, the actual procedures involved in petitioning for guardianship, asking the guardianship to be modified or terminated, and other related issues can be a little complicated. Always talk to your estate planning lawyer if you want to know more about guardianships in taxes.