It is a common misconception that guardianship litigation only affects young children whose parents died and did not leave detailed, legally binding instructions about the care of the progeny. Modern day guardianship cases now also affect adults who become disabled, the elderly who become unable to care for themselves or direct their own affairs, and adults with diminished capacity. You may be engaged in the care of a friend or family member right now who falls into one of these categories.
Get a Trusted Adviser on Your Side
Intense emotions make guardianship litigation difficult for everyone involved. When you have progressed to the point of litigation, it is clear that you and a group of other adults strongly disagree about the future care of a person requiring protection and supervision. In some cases, it may be even the prospective ward who opposes your interest in taking on guardianship duties. It is here that the right advice from seasoned litigators in the field can make a big difference. Charting a course and sticking to it is easier when trusted advisers help you see the big picture.
Understand the Challenges
If you are applying for guardianship of another, your fitness to serve in this capacity may be put into question. A prospective ward may ask the court to appoint someone else. Conversely, other adults who are willing to take on the guardianship role will actively seek to discredit you and ask that they be appointed as guardians instead of you. Protect your interests early on in the process by hiring a seasoned attorney who specializes in this aspect of probate litigation.
Work through the Process of Litigation and Beyond
In addition to the court filing, be prepared to deal with court-appointed officials who must take an interest in the proper representation of the prospective ward’s interests. It is not enough to merely win the case. Texas’ Probate Code is quite clear in its instructions on the proper conduct of an appointed guardian. Know what the law expects from you to prevent a recurrence of the litigation by another party who was not successful in the current suit.
Since Texas law allows “any interested person” to participate in a guardianship litigation process, you need to have a legal advisor with strong litigation skills on your side. The attorneys at Ford + Bergner LLP have this experience and are ready to review your case. Contact us today for assistance with this emotionally charged litigation.