Guardianship

Asserting legal guardianship is always a difficult decision. There have been different signs and incidents, but when is the right time? How do you bring up the subject? What responsibilities are you taking on?

At The Barbknecht Firm, P.C., in Plano, Texas, we have extensive experience with guardianship proceedings. This is a formal legal process that can become complicated and contentious. We provide solid guidance and skilled representation to clients in Richardson and throughout the Dallas Metroplex who wish to be appointed as the guardian of a parent or family member.

Texas Guardianship Law

Elderly persons who are in mental decline or frail health may no longer be able to manage their own affairs. They may be a danger to themselves or vulnerable to others who would take advantage of them. They may need assisted care or medical intervention.

Texas law authorizes two separate powers:

  • Guardianship of the person (health, hygiene and personal well-being)
  • Guardianship of the estate (property, finances, business and legal matters)

The court can appoint separate guardians or one person to serve both roles.

Typically, an adult child, sibling or other person petitions the court to be named guardian. The probate court must first reach a legal determination that the wardis incapacitated (unable to govern his or her own life). The court then must determine that the nominated guardian is fit for the duty and not motivated by self-interest.

Contested Guardianship Proceedings

In a perfect world, the need for guardianship is foreseen and everybody is on board. But often other family members object to the need for guardianship or object to the nominee. The ward him or herself may resist and challenge the petition. Joseph Barbknecht has represented the different parties in contested guardianship cases. He is a persuasive trial lawyer who is at the same time sensitive to family dynamics and the dignity of the individual.

When family members take sides and force the issue, we will litigate. In or out of court, Mr. Barbknecht keeps the focus on the best interests of the ward. His legal background in the areas of real estate, business, insurance and family law helps to address those related matters in the specific language of the guardianship documents.

We deliver superior personal service, which is so important when you are faced with a dilemma such as asserting legal authority over a loved one's affairs. With 30 years of experience, our guardianship attorney serves Plano, Richardson and the surrounding communities of Dallas County and Collin County. To arrange a free consultation, call 972-905-9263 toll free or contact us online.