“Guardianship is a legal method used to protect a person's well-being when he or she cannot protect themselves. A guardian is a court-appointed person or entity that makes decisions on behalf of a person with diminished capacity.” Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
A patient may only need help with certain types of decisions or activities, so s/he may not need a court-appointed guardian. For example, a patient may not be able to manage money, so a power of attorney limited to financial matters may be helpful. For certain types of government benefits, a trusted family member/friend can be appointed as representative payee to manage the money for the patient. Some patients may only need to designate someone through a durable power of attorney for health care to make decisions about health care if the patient becomes unable to do so for his/herself.
“Guardianship for Texans with Disabilities”
Texas Guardianship Association
“Protecting the Incapacitated: A Guide to Guardianship in Texas from Application to Oath”
“Referral Directory for Low-Income Texans”
Lawyer Referral Information Service
If you do not qualify for legal aid, this may be a resource. Through the Lawyer Referral Information Service, a person may have a thirty-minute consultation with an attorney for $20. At the end of the consultation, the attorney and individual may discuss possible representation and price structure. Please understand that the Lawyer Referral Information Service is not a pro bono or reduced-fee program. You should ask for a referral to an attorney who handles guardianship matters.
www.TexasLawHelp.org is a website where low-income Texans can find information about their civil legal issues and find out about free legal assistance in their area.
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
Serves 114 TX counties, including the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area and NorthWest Texas. They have offices in 15 cities. In order to obtain the numbers to each city office, go to https://internet.lanwt.org/en-us
Lone Star Legal Aid
Serves the Houston area and East Texas (72 counties).
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Serves the Austin/ San Antonio area, El Paso area, and South Texas.