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What is a Temporary Guardianship?

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Sun, 02/25/2018 - 11:32pm

Guardianship proceedings in Texas are usually an attempt to obtain permanent guardianship.  If the Court orders a permanent guardianship, the guardian has authority to make decisions for the ward into the indefinite future.  The Texas Estates Code additionally provides for temporary guardianship, which can be obtained much more quickly than a permanent guardianship, and with a lower burden of proof.  As the name denotes, however, a temporary guardianship does not last indefinitely.  Today's blog post will answer some of the more common questions about temporary guardianship in Texas.

What is the burden of proof for a temporary guardianship?

To obtain a temporary guardianship, the Applicant must show "substantial evidence" that the proposed ward is an incapacitated person, and probable cause that the proposed ward requires the immediate appointment of a guardian, based on an imminent danger to the proposed ward's physical health or safety, or that the proposed ward's property will be seriously damaged or dissipated without immediate action.  This burden is distinguished from a permanent guardianship in that a permanent guardianship must be based on "clear and convincing" evidence that the proposed ward is an incapacitated person, that it is in the proposed ward's best interest to have a guardian appointed, that alternatives to guardianship that would avoid the need for guardianship have been considered and are not feasible, and that supports and services available to the proposed ward that would avoid the need for a guardianship have been considered and determined not to be feasible.

How quickly can the Court order a temporary guardianship?

Immediately after an application for temporary guardianship is filed, the Court is required to issue an order setting the case for hearing.  The hearing is required to be held no later than ten days after the application is filed.  The proposed ward may consent to postpone the hearing for a period not to exceed 30 days after the filing of the application.

What rights does the proposed Ward have at the hearing?

At the hearing for temporary guardianship, the proposed ward has the right to have prior notice of the hearing, to be represented by an attorney, to be present and to present evidence, and to confront and cross-examine witnesses.  The proposed ward also has the right to have the hearing closed to the public.  

If your elderly parent or other incapaciated individual needs immediate supervision, a temporary guardianship may be the solution.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have had significant experience handling guardianship matters.  For additional information, contact the guardianship attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio.



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