Fort Worth Guardianship Lawyers
Legal Representation for Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the DFW Metroplex Guardianship Issues
Throughout Fort Worth, there are families struggling right now with mental illness, physical disability, or behavioral health issues affecting someone they love. Perhaps your family is one of them.
It’s a situation no parent or relative anticipates, but when the struggles become too much for the affected person to handle on their own, the question of guardianship enters the conversation — and it’s never an easy conversation to have.
Further complicating the matter: the person who needs help doesn’t always want it — or at least not help to the point of guardianship. However, if taking that step is in his or her best interest, the courts may be willing to intervene, though generally only as a last resort.
Granting one adult guardianship over another means the court must take away the person’s legal agency, and that’s not something courts do lightly.
To succeed in an action for guardianship, you will need to prove both the need for guardianship and the suitability of the proposed guardian. The court will look for compelling medical evidence, and you will also need to show that there are no less restrictive alternatives available for meeting the person’s needs.
If you have decided that guardianship is the best option for your loved one and that it is necessary, you’ll need to take action through the Texas court system.
That can be a confusing journey. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced attorney by your side.
In a city as large as Fort Worth, finding the right legal advisor can seem overwhelming in itself. Because this is a demanding area of law that almost always involves high emotional stakes, it’s important to look for a law firm with specific experience in guardianship matters — and one that emphasizes compassion too. The last thing you want is an attorney who will cause tensions to flare in an already-tense situation.
The Fort Worth guardianship lawyers at Parvin Law offer the experience your family deserves. In fact, Chris Parvin, senior partner and the founder of our firm, is Board Certified in Estate Planning & Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization — an achievement that only approximately 1% of Texas attorneys have earned.
Chris has dedicated his entire career to helping families face difficult life decisions as they try to care for those closest to them, including decisions that require formal legal intervention, such as guardianship.
He and his team of attorneys are committed to the belief that acting as a guardian for a family member is a noble and compassionate act, and they are here to help you achieve the best possible outcome for the person you love.
Our office proudly serves the people of Fort Worth, TX and its surrounding counties, including:
- Tarrant County
- Parker County
- Denton County
- Wise County
…as well as the many other communities that comprise the broader DFW Metroplex.
We invite you to reach out to our office, ask us your questions, and learn about the next steps you can take to protect the person you love.
Guardianship is a relationship between two adults that is created by a court. If granted, the probate judge will take away legal agency from the person needing help (the ward) and transfer the ward’s legal authority to someone else (the guardian).
Texas courts will grant guardianship when necessary in cases of legal incapacity, which means that the person is substantially unable to care for their own physical health, or to manage their own financial affairs, or to provide for their own basic needs (such as shelter, food, clothing, etc.)
How to Prove the Need for Guardianship
In so many areas of law, courts have a series of rules or factors to guide them. But in deciding whether guardianship is necessary, judges have a much more difficult task. They must decide when someone’s incapacity has become severe enough that it requires taking this drastic measure.
The relevant standard is whether the person is no longer capable of handling their own affairs.
But what if their capability varies from one day to the next? We see this in many dementia cases, for example, where clarity can come and go. The court can’t grant guardianship “only on bad days.” If granted, guardianship is generally an everyday proposition.
Is it fair that – on their “good days” – a person should be deprived of their legal agency? Is there some other approach that might be effective until things get worse? These are questions the court will ask, and the answers are subject to careful scrutiny.
Medical evidence is extremely important. The court will also want to get a “big picture” understanding of this person, their condition, their wishes, their daily life, how things are likely to change under guardianship, and what might happen if guardianship isn’t granted.
This is why an initial consultation with an attorney is so important. When you meet with our Fort Worth guardianship lawyers, we’ll talk to you about:
- Alternative strategies that might work better than guardianship
- The strongest proof to prepare if you’ve decided guardianship is the best option
- How local probate judges in Tarrant County (or the relevant county in the Fort Worth area) have handled cases like yours in the past
- How to go about getting expert opinions in support of guardianship
- What the timeline might look like for your case
- Answers for other questions you might have
We want you to walk away from our meeting with the information you need to make this incredibly important decision for your family. And if you decide to move forward with guardianship and hire Parvin Law as your legal representatives, we’ll get to work right away on building a thorough and persuasive case for the court.
How to Challenge a Guardianship
Guardianship isn’t appropriate in every case, and even when it is, the existing/proposed guardian might not be the right person for the job.
The whole question of guardianship is tough on the family, so it’s no surprise that conflict and disagreements tend to spring up as the process moves forward.
In some cases, a guardian may be clearly inappropriate for the situation. In others, there may be two valid but competing views of the arrangement, and you need someone to advance your interests in order to best protect the person you love.
As guardianship attorneys for Fort Worth and Tarrant County, we’re available to represent the prospective guardian or the family member (or another interested party) that wishes to challenge the appointment of a guardian.
Specifically, we are prepared to handle guardianship litigation involving allegations of misconduct, theft, misuse of assets or funds, abuse, neglect, or any other question concerning the guardian’s suitability.
Our goal is to advance our client’s best interests while also helping the family reach an amicable, peaceful resolution to the matter as quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible.
FAQs: Can the Same Person Serve as Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate in Texas?
Yes. In Texas, there are two kinds of guardianships for adults:
- Guardian of the Person — in which the guardian exercises legal authority over the ward’s medical decisions, housing arrangements, and other personal matters
- Guardian of the Estate — in which the guardian exercises legal authority over the ward’s financial matters, property ownership, and other estate interests
The same person can fulfill both guardianship roles at the same time (as is often the case).
Can Legal Guardians Be Established on an Emergency Basis?
Yes. In situations where there is an urgent threat to the potential ward’s well being Texas courts will consider granting guardianship on an emergency basis. Some examples of an urgent threat would be:
- a sudden change in mental status,
- evidence that their financial interests are being exploited,
- a recent incident in which the person became lost or was endangered,
- other threats to well-being that must be handled immediately.
Judges may grant these temporary guardianships without requiring as much evidence, but the guardian will typically have more limited authority over the ward, and the guardianship will only be permitted for a short period of time. However, temporary guardianships do often lead to permanent guardianships.
If your family has experienced a recent emergency and you believe a temporary guardianship is in your loved one’s best interest, please contact Parvin Law right away.
Get Experienced Guardianship Advice in Fort Worth and Tarrant County
If your family is considering taking guardianship action, the idea probably leaves you feeling uncertain and perhaps even overwhelmed. You aren’t alone. Most families feel that way, even if the need for legal intervention is clear.
Getting answers from a third party with real experience in navigating these issues can make all the difference in the world. We invite you to schedule a consultation with our office so that you can ask your questions and make an informed decision about your best next steps.
If you need legal representation in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, or the greater DFW Metroplex, get in touch with Parvin Law Group, P.C. right away. Simply call (214) 974-8940 or contact us online today.