How can I get a guardianship in place for my father?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 28, 2016
Liz0078 asked...

hi. My father has recently become incapacitated, both mentally & physically, and we are researching "Guardianships". How do we go about assigning my mother, his wife of over 30yrs, as his Guardian?? We live in Arlington, TX. My mother recently tried to obtain copies of his medical records and was denied because she did not have Power-of-attorney. I have been doing research and realize that Guardianship is our only option at this point, since Dad is no longe "of sane mind" to appoint her or anyone else as his Guardian. Pleas, anyone advise.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Obtaining an adult guardianship can be a relatively simple matter involving completing a few forms"”or a drawn-out process involving several court hearings, depending on your father's situation and on whether anyone objects to the arrangement.

Also, in Texas, as in other states, there are varying forms of self-help available for the motivated in some, but not all, of the local courts. To see what help may be available, contact the local probate or superior court and ask what help is available in obtaining adult guardianships there.

To shortcircuit that process, you may be able to get some good steering from one or more of the many free sources of legal help available in Texas. The following are free information lines, which should be able to supply you with the basics in getting started.

But be prepared to be patient. Most such helplines are staffed by volunteers with varying levels of expertise and experience"”and it may be necessary to call back two or three times before you get the kind of help you need.

Free legal information sources in Texas include:

Dallas Bar Association Legal Advice Telephone Line 2nd & 3rd Wednesday of each month 5:30 pm "“ 8:00 p.m., 214-220-7476

Legal Services of North Texas Legal Aid Line: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, 888-529-5277;

Lone Star Legal Aid 800-733-8394;

Texas Legal Services Center Legal hotline for older Texans, 800-622-2520;

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid 888-988-9996;

West Texas Legal Services, Inc. 800-955-3959;