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Guardianship Program

A guardian is a court-appointed person or entity that makes decisions on behalf of a person with diminished capacity. Depending upon the powers granted by the court, guardianship responsibilities include:

  • Arranging for placement
  • Making medical decisions
  • Managing estates

In order for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to provide guardianship services:

  • lesser restrictive alternatives must not be available;
  • an appropriate and qualified alternate guardian must not be available and willing to serve;
  • a ward must have resources available to fund services, including long-term care; and
  • there must be an expectation that guardianship will meet the person's needs.

DADS may seek guardianship of:

  • Incapacitated children reaching adulthood in Child Protective Services conservatorship
  • Incapacitated adults in Adult Protective Services investigations when abuse, neglect, or exploitation is confirmed and there is no other means of protecting the person
  • Incapacitated individuals referred directly to the program by a court with probate authority under certain criteria established in statute or rule

What services are provided?

Guardianship services include managing the ward's:

  • Citizenship issues
  • Estates
  • Funeral arrangements and disposal of property
  • Living arrangements
  • Medical treatment, including extraordinary medical procedures

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Updated: July 7, 2014