Establishing a guardianship for an aging or disabled relative may be a difficult and even painful decision. However, sometimes it is necessary to help someone live the healthiest and safest life possible considering the circumstances.
Some people resist a guardianship option, fearing it may deprive a loved one of too many rights. Fortunately, Texas courts are aware of the need to preserve the rights of people who suffer from incapacitation.
The difference between full and limited authority
Guardianships do not always take absolute control over the care of a person. It is true that some guardians exercise full authority over a ward. However, many guardianships in Texas are actually limited ones.
For instance, a court may grant a guardian the right to handle financial decisions for someone. However, the court does not take away the ability of the ward to choose where to live or how to exercise medical care.
Crafting a guardianship according to specific needs
Texas law establishes guidelines for state courts to follow when creating a guardianship. Basically, the powers of a guardian should only be enough to comport with the physical and mental limitations of the ward and protect the person from harm.
In fact, state law directs courts to establish guardianships that encourage the ward to be as self-reliant and independent as possible. This includes allowing the ward to choose a living arrangement.
It may not be necessary to petition for a guardianship at all. Texas allows for alternatives such as a power of attorney or a supported decision-making agreement. Still, the fact that state law restricts its guardianships to only necessary powers may give you peace of mind as you sort through options.