When a parent starts experiencing rapid health decline or shows signs of self-neglect due to dementia or other cognitive issues, it often falls on adult children to quickly step in.
Seeking emergency guardianship through the courts is one way to legally gain decision-making ability when your parent’s safety and well-being hang in the balance.
Emergency guardianship is a complex legal process with strict requirements. While hoping a parent regains the capacity to care for themselves is ideal, the reality is that progressive conditions often necessitate putting a caregiver legally in charge.
Our Texas law firm has extensive experience guiding families through emergency and permanent guardianship cases. We can help you understand the steps, file the paperwork, and ensure the best outcome for your loved one.
As difficult as it is to consider legally stripping a parent of their rights, certain situations make emergency guardianship unavoidably necessary:
Alternatives to guardianship, like power of attorney, may provide the ability to make decisions that are needed. In the absence of alternatives and if there is an immediate danger to the parent or their estate, a court petition for emergency guardianship may be necessary to protect a parent or their estate.
Texas Estate Code allows temporary emergency guardianship of up to 60 days, or you may file for permanent control immediately. The process may involve multiple agencies, healthcare providers, and legal approvals:
The court will always favor the least restrictive alternatives to guardianship and only authorize the guardian to make those decisions that the parent is without the capacity to make for themselves. Our attorneys can help craft a guardianship strategy for your parent’s needs.
To qualify for emergency guardianship, you have to prove there is an imminent threat of danger to their person or estate.
Specifically, Texas law requires:
If believing emergency guardianship may be necessary to protect your parent, the process involves the following:
We guide families through assembling the necessary medical and background paperwork and represent your case in court.
Gaining permanent guardianship is just the first step to getting a parent suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other incapacity the support they need.
A permanent guardian’s responsibilities include:
While temporary guardians are able to protect their loved ones in the short term, permanent guardians have an opportunity to improve lives during incapacitation. This role comes with complex responsibilities but also the immense capacity to uphold dignity and personhood. With compassion and pragmatism guiding the way, guardians enable supportive solutions so that life continues on one’s own, fulfilling terms for as long as possible.
Emergency guardianship is necessary to protect loved ones in immediate danger, but permanent guardianship allows for long-term management of a parent’s affairs and aligns them with progressive health condition changes. Our guardianship lawyers at Your Legacy Legal Care™ can help you decide whether to file for temporary guardianship or make it permanent.
We counsel guardianship needs, focusing on your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and best interests.
If you need to pursue emergency guardianship of a parent in Texas, trust our dedicated attorneys to guide your family compassionately through this complex process. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
Kimberly Hegwood is the Managing Attorney of Your Legacy Legal Care, a Houston estate planning law firm. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law in Texas, she represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including elder law, asset protection, estate planning, Medicaid crisis planning, probate, guardianship, and other estate planning practice areas.
Kimberly received her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
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