Dallas, Texas – December 3, 2016. Burdette & Rice, the largest probate litigation law firm in Dallas and North Texas, is proud to announce that attorney David Mead was selected to serve on a panel of attorneys which was presided over by Judge Brenda Hull Thompson of the Probate Court of Dallas County. The panel educated other local attorneys as to how to present guardianship applications and testimony to the Court. Continue reading
In a guardianship relationship, the “guardian” is charged with making decisions for the “ward,” i.e. the person being taken care of. There are various scenarios ranging from staying in one’s own home to being placed in a full-time care facility. This blog post provides an overview of the various scenarios, with a focus on guardianship proceedings under Texas law. Our Dallas law firm is happy to discuss your particular guardianship issues, including and up to guardianship disputes.
March 29, 2016 – Dallas, Texas. Burdette & Rice, one of the leading probate, trust, and estate dispute attorneys in Texas, is proud to announce that attorney Mark Caldwell has successfully given an important talk on guardianship disputes to the Estate and Planning & Probate section of the Dallas Bar Association on the topic of future trends in guardianship litigation, and recent change to Texas guardianship law. The talk was given on March 22, 2016, at the Belo Mansion, 2101 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas, 75201. Continue reading
January 30, 2016 – Dallas, Texas. Burdette & Rice is proud to announce that Mark Caldwell, a Texas Board Certified Estate and Probate Attorney and one of the firm’s Dallas, Texas, probate and estate dispute attorneys, has been invited to speak on March 22, 2016, to Texas licensed attorneys on the topic of “Trends in Litigating and Administering Guardianships” under the auspices of the Dallas Bar Association. The talk will also touch on procedural and evidentiary matters, as well as skills and strategy involved in successfully representing clients in disputed guardianship matters. Caldwell is a recognized expert on guardianship under Texas law, and is a frequent speaker at events in Dallas and across Texas on the topic. Continue reading
The Texas legislature has enacted some new requirements that impact every guardianship filed in Texas. As Dallas-based guardianship attorneys often working in the area of guardianship disputes, we felt a timely blog post could explore these issues. If you are facing a potential guardianship dispute under Texas law, reach out to our law firm with convenient locations in both Dallas and Plano, Texas.
In a guardianship action for an incapacitated adult, there are many factors a court considers in the appointment of a guardian. A court must find that the person is not disqualified to serve as guardian. A few of the easier-to-determine factors for disqualification require that the proposed guardian:
- is over age 18;
- does not have a history of conduct that is not “notoriously bad” (felony convictions are a good indicator);
- has not been declared to be incapacitated himself;
- doesn’t have a certain lawsuit pending against the proposed ward;
- doesn’t owe the proposed ward any money;
- isn’t claiming that the proposed ward owes the guardian any money;
- is capable of properly and prudently managing and controlling the proposed ward and the estate;
- was not named as an individual not to serve as guardian in a declaration by the proposed ward when the proposed ward had capacity to execute such a declaration.
Additionally, a court must find the guardian to be “suitable.” The factors that determine suitability are often the subject of heated disputes both among family and in the probate court. Suitability hinges on many facts, including the proposed guardian’s criminal history and financial history, if a guardianship of the estate is sought.
When two or more suitable persons are seeking to be appointed as guardian, then the Texas Estates Code has a scheme of priority. The priority begins with the spouse of the proposed ward and then goes in order of the nearest relative.
In situations where there are two individuals who have the same priority, then the court must then determine which person among those who have the same priority is best qualified to serve as guardian. However, if there are two individuals and one of them is a more distant relative, then the statutory priority scheme can be useful. For example, if a proposed ward is not married but has both suitable children and suitable siblings, the proposed ward’s children would have priority to serve over the proposed ward’s siblings.