Guardianship is a legal method used to protect a person's well-being when he or she cannot protect themselves. A guardian is a court-appointed person or entity that makes decisions on behalf of a person with diminished capacity.” Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
A patient may only need help with certain types of decisions or activities, so s/he may not need a court-appointed guardian. For example, a patient may not be able to manage money, so a power of attorney limited to financial matters may be helpful. For certain types of government benefits, a trusted family member/friend can be appointed as representative payee to manage the money for the patient. Some patients may only need to designate someone through a durable power of attorney for health care to make decisions about health care if the patient becomes unable to do so for his/herself.
- Guardianship for Texans with Disabilities
- Texas Guardianship Association - Frequently Asked Questions
- Texas Guardianship Association - Guardianship Alternatives
- “Protecting the Incapacitated: A Guide to Guardianship in Texas from Application to Oath”
- “Referral Directory for Low-Income Texans”
- Lawyer Referral Information Service
If you do not qualify for legal aid, this may be a resource. Through the Lawyer Referral Information Service, a person may have a thirty-minute consultation with an attorney for $20. At the end of the consultation, the attorney and individual may discuss possible representation and price structure. Please understand that the Lawyer Referral Information Service is not a pro bono or reduced-fee program. You should ask for a referral to an attorney who handles guardianship matters.
TexasLawHelp.org is a website where low-income Texans can find information about their civil legal issues and find out about free legal assistance in their area.
- Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Serves 114 TX counties, including the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area and Northwest Texas. They have offices in 15 cities. Each number of each city office can be found on their site.
- Lone Star Legal Aid
Serves the Houston area and East Texas (72 counties).
- Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Serves the Austin/ San Antonio area, El Paso area, and South Texas.
- Guardianship Program - Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
- The Arc of Texas