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Rights of a Guardianship Ward

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Sat, 07/14/2018 - 11:24pm

Americans today are able to live much longer lives than previous generations.  As the average age of the population increases, many elderly people face physical and mental limitations and more and more families find themselves facing questions about guardianship.  In contemplating a possible guardianship over an aging parent, families need a clear understanding of the rights that the family member retains if a guardianship is created.  Today's blog will summarize some of the most important rights that a Ward has in a guardianship.

Retention of all rights not specifically limited by Court order

Generally, a Ward has all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and privileges granted by the constitution and laws of Texas and the United States, except where specifically limited by a court-ordered guardianship or other lawful restriction.  In other words, unless the Court specifically limits a right, that right is retained by the Ward.  The Court is required to consider all relevant evidence, and if a guardianship is necessary, is required to only limit rights necessary to protect the Ward.  The guardianship should be tailor-fit to the specific circumstances to only place limitations that are necessary.  

Right to maximum independence

Another important right is the right to have a guardianship that encourages the development or maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence with the eventual goal, if possible, of self-sufficiency.

Right to associate with friends

Occasionally, a Guardian attempts to limit the Ward's contact with certain friends and relatives due to a family fued or disagreement with the values and lifestyles of the Ward's friends.  However, Texas law is clear that a Ward generally has the right to unimpeded, private and uncensored communication and visitation with persons of the Ward's choice, except that if the Guardian determines that certain communication or visitation causes substantial harm to the Ward, the Guardian may limit, supervise, or restrict communication or visitation, but only to the extent necessary to protect the Ward from substantial harm.  If the Guardian limits communication or visitation, the Ward has the right to request that the Court remove such restrictions. 

The above rights are among many rights of a guardianship Ward.  If your family is contemplating a possible guardianship for a loved one, it is critical that the family fully understand all of the implications of a guardianship.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have significant experience handling guardianship matters, and can provide additional information helpful to your family.  To schedule a free consultation about your situation, please contact the guardianship attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio.      

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