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Alternatives to Guardianship
When individuals seek guardianship of a minor, adult family member or other loved one, it is often a challenging – though not insurmountable – task. In addition to the challenges involved in the process, becoming subject to guardianship deprives a person of many of their fundamental rights. As a result, generally speaking, guardianship should be pursued only when it is truly necessary. At Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC, while we have extensive experience in helping individuals seek guardianship, we also regularly counsel clients on the alternatives that are available.
What Are Some Alternatives to Guardianship?
In a guardianship arrangement, the guardian assumes responsibility for ensuring the ward’s physical wellbeing or managing the ward’s financial affairs. As a result, the ward loses the right to make decisions that the guardian must now make on his or her behalf. This can be a difficult and stressful set of circumstances for all parties involved and guardians can also face legal liability for failing to act in the ward’s best interests at all times.
Nonetheless, in some circumstances, guardianship will still be the best option. However, before arriving at the decision to seek guardianship, it is important to consider the other options that are available. Some of these options include:
- Using Estate Planning Tools for Healthcare Decision-Making and Financial Management – While people most often associate estate planning with distributing their assets after they die, the reality is that a well-crafted estate plan can serve a number of important purposes during a person’s lifetime as well. For example, living wills and medical powers of attorney can be used to simplify what can otherwise be complicated questions about a loved one’s medical care, and living trusts, durable powers of attorney and other estate planning documents can be used to provide assistance with financial management during a person’s later years in life.
- Community Services, Nursing Homes and In-Home Care – If your loved one needs assistance getting around or tending to his or her daily needs, you may be able to consider community services, a nursing home, or in-home care as alternative to guardianships. Taking on responsibility for someone else's health and safety can be an enormous burden, and it is ok to consider options other than you personally taking on direct, full-time responsibility.
Speak With an Allen Guardianship Lawyer at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC
If you have questions about the alternatives to guardianship in Texas, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. To speak with one of our attorneys in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or submit our online request form today.
Disclaimer: While our primary office is located in McKinney, Texas, Nordhaus Walpole provides legal representation to residents in the Allen, Frisco, Prosper, and entire Collin County area.