How To Obtain Guardianship In The Texas HCS Program – Texas HCS 101

by Mary Jenkins  - April 27, 2023

How To Obtain Guardianship In The Texas HCS Program – Texas HCS 101

In Texas, there are two types of guardianship: general and limited. In a general guardianship, the guardian is given authority to make all decisions for the ward. In a limited guardianship, the guardian is given authority to make specific decisions for the ward. This article will focus on how to obtain a general guardianship in the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) program.

Key Takeaways

  • Guardianship is a legal process in Texas that gives a responsible adult authority to make decisions on behalf of another person.

  • There are two types of guardianship in the Texas HCS program: general and limited.

  • To obtain a general guardianship, you must complete an application with your local county DPRS office, provide relevant information and documentation, attend a court hearing, submit to a criminal background check, complete additional training and certification (if required), and be appointed by the court.

  • To obtain a limited guardianship, you must meet the same requirements as for a general guardianship and complete a similar application process.

  • As the guardian, you will be responsible for making all decisions on behalf of the ward and submitting regular reports to the court.

  • Guardianship can be terminated if the ward no longer needs help with decision-making, if the guardian is no longer able to perform their duties, or for other reasons.

  • Some circumstances that would cause someone to seek guardianship include: cognitive impairment or mental illness, being a minor, or being unable to take care of themselves.

  • The rights of the guardian depend on the type of guardianship granted. In a general guardianship, the guardian has the right to make all decisions on behalf of the ward, while in a limited guardianship, the guardian has the right to make decisions about specific areas of the ward’s life.

  • The rights of the ward depend on the type of guardianship granted and can vary based on the circumstances of the guardianship.

What is guardianship as it applies to the Texas HCS program?

How To Obtain Guardianship In The Texas HCS Program – Texas HCS 101 3 July 2024

Guardianship is a legal process that gives a responsible adult authority to make decisions on behalf of another person. In the Texas HCS program, there are two types of guardianship – general and limited.

General Guardianship

How To Obtain Guardianship In The Texas HCS Program – Texas HCS 101 5 July 2024

To apply for a general guardianship in the Texas HCS program, you must first complete an application with your local county Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS) office. In most cases, this application will require you to provide information about your relationship with the person for whom you are applying, details about your financial situation, health information about yourself and your family, employment history, and other relevant information.

The process for obtaining a general guardianship in the Texas HCS program typically involves the following steps:

1. Complete an application with your local DPRS office

2. Gather all relevant information and documentation, including financial records, health information, employment information, and other relevant documents

3. Attend a court hearing to present your case to the judge

4. If approved by the judge, submit to a criminal background check

5. Complete additional training and certification, if required

6. Be appointed by the court as the guardian of the person

Limited Guardianship

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In some cases, you may need to apply for a limited guardianship in addition to or instead of a general guardianship. A limited guardianship is typically used when the ward needs help with specific areas of their life, such as medical decisions. To obtain a limited guardianship in Texas, you will typically need to meet the same requirements as for a general guardianship and complete a similar application process.

What happens after the guardianship is approved?

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Once you have been appointed as the guardian of a person in the Texas HCS program, you will be responsible for making all decisions on their behalf. This includes decisions about their medical care, living arrangements, financial matters, and other important aspects of their life.

You will also be required to submit regular reports to the court detailing your actions as guardian and any changes in the ward’s condition or circumstances.

Guardianship termination

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In some cases, it may be necessary to terminate a guardianship. This can happen if the ward no longer needs help with decision-making, if the guardian is no longer able to perform their duties, or for other reasons. To terminate a guardianship in Texas, you will need to file a petition with the court and attend a hearing. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be required to complete additional training or certifications before the guardianship can be terminated. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to work closely with legal and medical professionals to ensure that any termination is carried out in a safe and appropriate manner.

What are some circumstances that would cause someone to seek guardianship?

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Some circumstances that would cause someone to seek guardianship include:

The person is unable to make decisions for themselves due to a cognitive impairment or mental illness

A person who is cognitively or mentally impaired may not be able to make decisions about their own medical care, living arrangements, or financial matters. In these cases, a guardian can be appointed to make these decisions on their behalf.

The person is a minor

In most cases, minors are not legally allowed to make decisions about their own lives. As such, guardianship may be necessary in order to ensure that they are properly taken care of.

The person is unable to take care of themselves

If a person is unable to take care of their own basic needs, such as eating, bathing, or dressing, a guardian may be necessary in order to ensure their safety and well-being.

What are the rights of the guardian?

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The rights of the guardian depend on the type of guardianship that is granted. In a general guardianship, the guardian has the right to make all decisions on behalf of the ward. This includes decisions about their medical care, living arrangements, financial matters, and other important aspects of their life. In a limited guardianship, the guardian typically has the right to make decision about specific areas of the ward’s life, such as medical decisions.

What are the rights of the ward?

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The rights of the ward depend on the type of guardianship that is granted. In most cases, the ward retains all legal rights and freedoms under a general guardianship. However, in some cases, their rights may be limited or restricted if it is deemed necessary for their safety and well-being. For example, in a medical guardianship, the ward may have limited rights regarding their medical care, such as the right to refuse treatment or to decide which doctors they see.

What protections are in place for the ward?

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There are numerous protections in place for wards under a guardianship. For example, all decisions made by the guardian must be in the best interests of the ward. Additionally, the guardian is required to submit regular reports to the court detailing their actions and any changes in the ward’s condition or circumstances. The court can also remove a guardian in cases of abuse or neglect, and can appoint another guardian if necessary. Finally, the ward has a right to legal counsel during any guardianship proceedings, and they will be entitled to additional protections depending on their particular circumstances.

Some other FAQs about guardianship in Texas

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Here are some other frequently asked questions:

How long does a guardianship last?

A guardianship can last indefinitely, or it can be terminated if the ward no longer needs help with decision-making, if the guardian is no longer able to perform their duties, or for other reasons.

What are the responsibilities of the guardian?

The responsibilities of the guardian depend on the type of guardianship that is granted, but typically include making decisions on behalf of the ward, ensuring their safety and well-being, and acting in their best interests.

Can a guardian make decisions about end-of-life care?

In most cases, yes. If the ward has not designated someone else to make these decisions, the guardian will typically have the authority to do so.

What is a guardianship hearing?

A guardianship hearing is a court proceeding in which the guardian is appointed. The ward has a right to legal counsel during this hearing, and they will be given an opportunity to object to the guardianship if they choose.

Are there any fees associated with obtaining a guardianship?

Depending on the type of guardianship requested and the specific circumstances of the case, there may be some fees associated with obtaining guardianship. In most cases, these fees are payable to the court.

Our final thoughts on guardianship in Texas

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If you or a loved one is considering a guardianship, it is important to fully understand your rights and the process involved. For more information about guardianship in Texas, or to get started on the application process, be sure to consult with an experienced legal professional today.

About Above and Beyond Caring

How To Obtain Guardianship In The Texas HCS Program – Texas HCS 101 25 July 2024

Since 2007, the dedicated people at Above and Beyond Caring have been providing Home and Community-based Services (HCS) to individuals with IDD in the Brazoria and Galveston County areas. We are committed to empowering those we serve to live their best life by providing quality services and support, promoting independence and inclusion, and advocating for their rights. Our goal is to help each individual we serve reach their full potential and lead a happy and fulfilling life.

For more information about our services, or to get help with the HCS program in general, call us today at (979) 202-0055. We’d love to talk with you!

About Mary Jenkins

Mary Jenkins has over 25 years experience helping individuals with IDD live and thrive in their community. She founded Above and Beyond Caring in 2007 to provide Texas HCS services in the Texas Gulf Coast area. She is also the Director of the Community Inclusion Project, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all individuals have access to their community. She is passionate about her work and believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to be a part of, and contribute to, the world around them. Mary is a tireless advocate who is passionate about helping individuals with IDD live fuller, more meaningful lives.

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