Parent Designation of Legal Guardian for Children

The Texas Probate Code provides for parents to appoint guardians of the person for minor children. Parents can designate a guardian either in a will, or in a special document called a written declaration.


If a parent executes a written declaration of guardian, that document is a valid declaration if it is written only in the decedent’s handwriting, or it can be typed, but a typed document must be executed with formal requirements similar those required of a valid will.


A type-written declaration must be witnessed by two disinterested individuals over age 14, and may have a self-proving affidavit attached, so that the witnesses do not have to go to court for a hearing. If no self-proving affidavit is attached, then the two witnesses will have to appear at a hearing where the court appoints the individual as guardian and testify about the validity of the written declaration.


A good written declaration of a guardian will name at least two or three alternate guardians who can serve if the prior individuals designated cannot qualify under the law or have passed away before the parent.