Restoration of a Ward’s Capacity in a Guardianship

If you have been appointed to serve as guardian for someone, called a “ward,” then a court has determined that the ward does not have the ability to make legal and/or financial decisions for himself. What happens if the ward regains the ability to make those decisions and to do at least some of the tasks necessary to provide food, clothing or shelter for himself?

 

The Texas Probate Code provides for such a situation. It might arise for a ward who has been languishing in a comatose state for some time, or perhaps the ward suffered from alcoholism or another disease where he was unable to make sound decisions. If the ward recovers to the point that she can make some or all of her own legal decisions, then the ward herself, or any other person who is interested in the ward’s welfare, may apply to the court and ask for the ward’s legal capacity to be restored. If the ward personally asks the court to restore her legal capacity, she can simply write a letter to the court – she need not file a complicated legal document.

 

If a court does receive such an application or a letter, the court will appoint a court investigator who will look into the facts surrounding the guardianship and to determine whether the ward is able to regain some capacity. The court will also appoint an attorney ad litem who will represent the ward and ensure that the ward’s rights are protected.

 

The ward must be examined by a physician who will provide a written certificate of examination to the court, and the court must hear sufficient evidence to allow the court to restore the ward’s capacity.