Establishing Guardianship Of A Vulnerable Loved One

If you have a family member who is vulnerable to being preyed upon by a dishonest person, or if a member of your family is susceptible to self-harm by mistake or neglect, our attorneys can help you establish legal guardianship.

We understand that every family is different, and we will listen carefully to your concerns, explain your legal options and develop a customized strategy for meeting your family's needs. Full guardianship is not always necessary, and we will evaluate other alternatives that may be less complicated and less expensive.

The leader of this practice area, attorney Mark Hobbs, is a Certified Guardianship Ad Litem Attorney and is Board-Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Guardianship And Incapacity Planning

There may come a time when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself or someone in your care. Whether your loved one is a minor child, an adult child with special needs or a dependent spouse with dementia, there are steps you can take now to appoint someone to care for you and for your vulnerable family member.

At Johnson Hobbs Squires LLP, our estate planning and elder law services include the creation of guardianship documents that can name a trusted person as a legal guardian under certain conditions that you decide. That person could be another relative, a family friend, an adult child or someone else whom you trust.

Other Forms Of Incapacity Planning

As for protecting your own assets and wishes in the event of incapacity, there are options in addition to guardianship to consider. We can draft any of the following documents to make your wishes clear:

  • Medical power of attorney — This document allows you to name a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Directive to physicians and family or surrogates — Commonly called a living will, this document instructs physicians with regard to your health care treatment in the event that you become terminally ill or incapacitated and require life-sustaining treatment.
  • Statutory durable power of attorney — This document grants someone the power to make financial and property-related decisions for you. Where appropriate, we include specifically drafted additional language not found in most powers of attorney, to ensure that the agent has the authority that is needed to act on behalf of the principal.

Handling Guardianship Disputes

Sometimes family members disagree about the appropriate care of a vulnerable loved one, and guardianship disputes arise. There may be questions of neglect, financial abuse, undue influence or other breaches of fiduciary duty. These are painful matters that require experienced legal counsel in order to resolve them in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Our attorneys are experienced in handling contested guardianship, including contested competency hearings and failure of guardians to fulfill their fiduciary duties.

Contact A Guardianship Lawyer

To learn more about your legal options regarding guardianship and other fiduciary issues, call Johnson Hobbs Squires LLP at 254-633-3011 or contact us online.