The Guardianship Process

When a client comes to me for a guardianship, the first things that we start to do is we gather information. A guardianship you have to prove legally a level of incapacity by using medical evidence. So you’re taking medical evidence and trying to use it in a legal world. So you have to get a doctor involved. You have to get the doctor to either give you medical records or fill out forms, or something along those lines so that you can see what the doctor says is the level of incapacitation. That’s the first issue with any of them.

Once you have a situation where you have somebody who you believe is incapacitated and you have the evidence for that – it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove – then you have a process where you file an application with the – in Denton we have a Statutory Probate Court. You file an application. And then lots of wheels start into motion. There will be an ad litem, who is an attorney that’s appointed for the proposed ward. And that ad litem will go in and do an investigation of their own to determine whether the person is actually incapacitated. There will be a court investigator that will be assigned to your case. That is a county employee that will actually go and also do an investigation to determine not only if there’s an incapacity, but to what level.

All this investigation process happens. And then, and only then, there will a hearing in front of the court. Because you’re taking away somebody’s constitutional rights, this hearing is a