Probate Courts: About Guardianship
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Guardianship

About Guardianship

If you suspect that an adult is being ABUSED, NEGLECTED OR EXPLOITED, please contact Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

Guardianship is a legal proceeding whereby a person may be appointed to make medical, placement and/or financial decisions for an incapacitated person.

A guardianship can be initiated in one of three ways:

  1. An application filed by an attorney
  2. An application filed by a Court Investigator after due investigation (generally reserved for incapacitated individuals who are indigent)
  3. An application filed by an attorney who has been appointed by the Court (a Guardian Ad Litem)

If you have a concern about an individual who may need a guardian, you can follow the procedures below and the court will determine whether it has probable cause to initiate an investigation and bring an application for guardianship. The court will generally not initiate an investigation until the steps below are completed:

  1. Complete an information letter
  2. Have a physician complete a certificate
  3. If the basis of a person’s incapacity is mental retardation then the law requires that a physician or psychologist conduct an examination according to the rules adopted by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and shall submit written findings and recommendations to the Court. This report is commonly referred to as a Determination of Mental Retardation or “DMR,” and it must be based upon an examination conducted not earlier than six months before the date of a hearing to appoint a guardian for the proposed ward. Please contact your physician for assistance in obtaining this Determination of Mental Retardation, or, if the Proposed Ward is a client of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, you may contact Dr. Helen Ferguson at (817) 569-4056 for assistance.

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Content Last Modified on 12/12/2012 4:04:06 PM





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