Davidson Law Group: Guardianship for Adults with Disabilities

Davidson Law Group Explains the Pros and Cons of Adult Guardianship

If you have a loved one who is intellectually or physically disabled, you may need to consider legal guardianship or conservatorship. Whatever your unique circumstances may be, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of adult guardianship so you can make the best choices for your loved one. In today’s blog, the legal team at Davidson Law Group shares the advantages and disadvantages of conservatorship and some alternative options.

Related Post: Some Facts About Conservatorship

Conservatorship Defined

A conservator is another word for a guardian. Conservatorship is used to describe the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent. In Texas, a judge may give conservatorship to one or both parents. There are two types of approved guardians: the guardian of the person, making medical and personal decisions, and the guardian of the estate, handling financial decisions and managing the individual’s assets and income.

It can be difficult to complete the administrative process of establishing guardianship. When you request a guardianship from the court, a fee must be paid and documentation of the disability must be provided. Below, we list further pros and cons of adult guardianship.

Pros of Guardianship

If your disabled loved one is at risk in their daily life, whether because of their own actions or the actions of others, guardianship offers the ability to provide protection. As a guardian, you will be able to decide where your loved one lives and who he/she associates with. You will also be able to protect their money and property as the guardian of the estate.

With guardianship in place, it is often easier to complete important tasks because you are authorized to handle banks, credit card companies, and medical care providers on behalf of your disabled loved one. With the proper documentation, healthcare providers must consult with the guardian regarding medical decisions and release medical documentation to the guardian as well.

Cons of Guardianships

The first con is that your disabled loved one might not want a guardian, and it is difficult to put them under guardianship against their will. Initiating conservatorship is often time-consuming and expensive. This usually requires court hearings and a lot of paperwork, since the conservator must keep detailed records and file court papers on a regular basis. These court documents are a matter of public record, which can be inconvenient for disabled persons who value privacy and independence.

Guardianships can also cause disputes among family members who may have different views about who should be the guardian and how much control they should have over the disabled person’s life. Open communication within the family and assistance from a trusted attorney can help to resolve disputes.

Related Post: What You Need to Know About Appointing Guardianship

Alternatives to Guardianship

Not all disabled adults need guardians. Some are able to live on their own with minimal support. It is important for families to first explore alternatives to guardianship. If there are no other possibilities, you can structure a guardianship so it only transfers the necessary rights to meet a person’s needs. Also, if you maintain a joint bank account with your disabled loved one, you will be able to assist him/her in paying their bills.

Avoiding a Conservatorship

The best way to avoid a conservatorship is for an older person to prepare durable powers of attorney before a health crisis occurs. Whoever is named in those documents can take charge and make financial and medical decisions if necessary.

Contact Davidson Law Group

Consult with an attorney to learn more about adult guardianship. The team at Davidson Law Group can advise you on the best ways to protect your loved one. For more information or to schedule a free appointment, contact us in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.