At the Fort Worth law firm of Grover Loudermilk, PLLC, we counsel and represent clients in all aspects of Texas guardianships. We handle matters involving both guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. In addition, our lawyers have Guardianship Ad Litem Certification from the State Bar of Texas and serve as appointed counsel for people subject to a guardianship proceeding.
Our practice focuses primarily on legal matters relating to Texas probate and estates, including guardianship proceedings in Tarrant County Probate Court. Much of our work is courtroom-based, involving issues like contested guardianships and estates, complicated estate administrations, and complex creditor issues.
We assist clients with the full range of concerns relating to Texas probate and estates. Our clients include banks and other professional and corporate fiduciaries. Many clients come to us through referrals from other attorneys, which demonstrates our solid reputation in the Tarrant County legal community for providing exceptional service in probate and estate matters.
Our background includes both court service and private practice experience. The co-founders of the firm, attorneys Mike Grover and Bob Loudermilk, served for three years as staff attorneys at Tarrant County Probate Court No. 2, working on matters relating to guardianships, estates, wills, trusts, and probate. Both lawyers also have extensive probate and estate experience in private practice.
Our credentials and experience set us apart and position us uniquely well to counsel and represent our clients in guardianship matters.
Texas statutes provide a comprehensive system for court appointment of guardians for incapacitated individuals or wards. Guardianship is an option of last resort. A court appoints a guardian only when there is no less restrictive alternative available to protect the proposed ward’s personal or financial well-being.
A guardianship may be necessary in a number of different situations. Guardians are appointed for incapacitated adults who can no longer care for themselves or their financial affairs. A guardian also may be appointed for a disabled adult who has turned 18 years old or a minor who receives an inheritance or bequest. Depending on the facts of the case, there may be many different scenarios when a guardian may be necessary. Please contact us for more information.
Two different types of Texas guardianships correspond to the types of incapacity. A guardian of the person undertakes responsibility for providing personal care of the ward. A guardian of the estate has responsibility for managing the financial affairs of the ward.
A guardianship of the person is a type of guardianship that allows a court-appointed guardian to manage the personal and healthcare decisions for the incapacitated individual. These decisions may concern the ward’s:
The process of obtaining a guardianship of the person for an incapacitated individual (frequently an aging parent or other relative) generally begins with filing an application for guardianship with the probate court of the county where the proposed ward lives. The court appoints an attorney ad litem to represent the proposed ward and holds a hearing on the guardianship petition.
If the court concludes that appointment of a guardian is necessary, the judge orders the county clerk to issue letters of guardianship. A guardian of the person is responsible for filing an annual report with the court to provide information regarding the ward's living conditions and further prognosis.
A guardianship of the estate allows the guardian to make financial decisions for the incapacitated person. The guardian of the estate is responsible for preserving the ward's assets under the supervision of the court. Texas law imposes a fiduciary duty on a guardian of the estate, as well as a requirement for filing an annual account with the court.
As with a guardianship of the person, the process generally begins with the filing of an application for guardianship of the estate with the probate court. The court appoints an attorney ad litem to represent the proposed ward and holds a hearing a hearing on the guardianship request.
If the court appoints the applicant as guardian of the estate, the judge orders the county clerk to issue letters of guardianship. The guardian is required to post a bond, which ensures that the estate will be reimbursed in the event of breach of the duty to protect the ward’s assets. The bond premiums are an expense of the estate and generally are payable out of the estate.
Following court appointment, a guardian of the estate has extensive ongoing responsibilities under Texas law that require representation by an attorney. Consulting with an experienced guardianship attorney is the best way for a person seeking to be appointed guardian of the estate to ensure compliance with applicable legal requirements and duties and prevent an inadvertent breach of the duty to the estate.
From our Fort Worth office, Grover Loudermilk attorneys assist clients with all aspects of guardianships. Our experience includes handling complex and contested guardianship proceedings. We counsel and represent guardians, individuals, and families, as well as corporate and professional fiduciaries. To request additional information or schedule a consultation, please call us at 817.730.9300 or use our online contact form.