Free Declaration of Guardian

A declaration of guardian is specific to Texas residents and clarifies who should make decisions for you if a guardianship proceeding is brought concerning your person and/or estate.

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One of the more important decisions you will have to make in life is who will step in and act on your behalf if/when you are unable to do so. You may be involved in an accident that leaves you unable to conduct business as you once did. Or possibly you are dealing with a serious illness. Regardless of the reason, it is a good idea to have someone who can “pinch hit” for you when you cannot - that’s where a Declaration of Guardian comes in. 

 

The Declaration of Guardian names someone to act as your guardian if a guardianship proceeding is brought in court. A guardianship proceeding results in the assignment of a guardian to handle your personal and/or financial matters. By executing a Declaration of Guardian, you are assured that the personal, medical, and/or financial aspects of your life will be handled by someone that you trust if/when you are not able to handle such matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

A declaration of guardian is the legally binding document specific to Texas residents that clarifies who should make decisions for you if a guardianship proceeding is brought concerning your person and/or estate. 

 

 

There may come a point in your life when you are unable to handle your financial and/or personal affairs. If and when this situation arises, an appointed guardian will be able to handle the affairs of your person and/or estate to make sure your finances and physical being are well taken care of.

A general power of attorney designates a person (the “attorney-in-fact”) to handle the financial affairs of the person executing the document (the “principal”).

A medical power of attorney (MPOA) designates an attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions when the principal is unable to communicate their desires regarding their medical treatment. 

 

A limited power of attorney is generally used for a specific (and short) time period and tasks (i.e. you are backpacking for two weeks in the mountains and will be unreachable for a period of time). It gives the attorney-in-fact the authority to make legally binding decisions for the tasks as directed.

 

Adding the word “durable” to any of these power of attorney documents makes a significant difference. Normally, a power of attorney expires upon the incapacity of the principal. However, durable powers of attorney will survive the principal’s incapacity, allowing the attorney-in-fact to act when the principal is truly incapable of doing so on their own. In fact, a durable power of attorney may be phrased so it doesn’t take effect until the principal becomes incapacitated. 

 

In function, the declaration of guardian is most similar to a durable general power of attorney. But, there are some key differences:

  • A durable general power of attorney doesn’t require a court proceeding to become effective. 

  • The declaration of guardian is ineffective by itself; it merely directs the court who to appoint in the event a guardianship proceeding is initiated.

  • The declaration of guardian may appoint a guardian of the estate and/or a guardian of the person. The guardian of the estate has the same role as an attorney-in-fact appointed by the durable general power of attorney. A guardian of the person instead cares for the principal’s (or in the case, the “ward’s”) personal care, medical decisions, and living situation. 

    • Regarding the medical decisions, the guardian of the person will have the same powers as an attorney-in-fact appointed by a medical power of attorney.

 

Although they seem duplicative, the declaration of guardian and the durable powers of attorney should be viewed as companions. A guardian appointed by the court will replace the person(s) granted power of attorney.

To prevent someone undesirable from becoming your guardian, the declaration of guardian will make your wishes known to the court. 

The declaration of guardian is fairly straightforward and easy to understand:

  • Your name

  • Effective date and location of the declaration

  • The name of the selected guardian(s)

  • Scope of the Declaration - Determine whether the guardian will be the guardian of estate, guardian of the person, or both. A guardian of the estate has the authority and responsibility to pay your expenses and maintain your investments. A guardian of the person, on the other hand, has the authority and responsibility to establish your residence, provide basic necessities, and make medical decisions on your behalf. 

 

 

Our propriety form generator will assist you in creating your customized Declaration of Guardian within minutes. Answering the questions is not complicated – you only fill in the requested information and we will put it together for you.

Once you complete the questionnaire and place your order, it will be available for immediate download in either PDF or Word document from your secure online account including a step-by-step guide on how to use your document. 

 

 

To be legally enforceable, a declaration of guardian must be signed in the presence of two unbiased witnesses. Additionally, a notary public should be present to witness the signatures of you and the two witnesses.

Please Note: The use of a notary ensures that no one challenges any signatures later and is a secure way to firmly establish the effectiveness of your document. 

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Applicable to all 50 states
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