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Adult Guardianship

Dallas-Fort Worth Adult Guardianship Attorneys

Serving Families & Individuals Throughout Texas

Adult guardianship hearings are taken very seriously in the eyes of the judicial system. Why? Because the end result is often the removal of autonomy from one adult and another adult being given the responsibility for all financial and medical decision for “the rest of time”. Often adult guardship occurs in times of permanent mental or physical disability in which the ward (the person in question) is not capable of making decisions for themselves.

There are two primary ways of accomplishing adult guardianship. The first is to reactively file an Application for Appointment of Permanent Guardian with the court. The second way is to proactively complete guardianship planning documents included in a comprehensive estate plan. Due to the all-encompassing nature of guardianship, the process for determining if an individual needs to have a person to represent them is detailed and lengthy.

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Filing the Reactive Guardianship Application

When an individual (potential ward) can no longer care for themselves, their loved ones usually want to become primary decision-makers for the incapacitated individual’s health and financial matters. When no proactive guardianship plan is in place, the concerned party must apply for guardianship in the county in which the potential ward resides.

The applicant guardian must provide demographic information for themselves and the potential ward and must explain the “nature and degree” of suspected incapacity with the support of medical testimony. The Reactive Guardianship Application also asks the type of guardianship being sought, the value of the proposed ward’s estate, and much more.


If you would like to speak to our team, please call today to request a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We also have a convenient online scheduler you can use to select an appointment time that best suits you.


Commencement of Court Investigation

If the court requests that an investigation be performed, it will appoint an investigator to determine whether the application is valid. The investigator will talk with the potential ward, doctors, psychologists, family members, social workers, and others familiar with the situation to determine if the application for guardianship is really necessary. If the investigators determine there is a valid need to appoint a guardian, the court will appoint an attorney and guardian ad litem to advocate for the best interests of the ward.

Commencement of Court Hearings & Disposition of the Case

There will be a court hearing to determine if the potential ward can adequately care for their physical and financial needs and to determine their best interests and whether the potential guardian is qualified to care for the potential ward. The disposition of the case involves defining parameters of guardianship, bonding the appointed guardian, and issuing the letters of guardianship.


Call our Texas law firm at (972) 945-1610 for help in Plano or Mansfield.


Proactive Guardianship Planning

You can plan ahead and work with a qualified attorney to craft comprehensive guardianship documents that name a person you trust to act as your guardian and in whatever capacity you decide should the need arise in the future. By clearly defining roles and communicating responsibilities before an emergency occurs, your guardian will have all of the necessary information to carry out your wishes in the event of incapacitation.


If you would like to schedule free consultation to discuss your questions regarding adult guardianship, please call (972) 945-1610 or use our convenient online form.


Satisfied Clients Tell Their Stories

  • "Very Professional, Thorough and Good Communicators"
    Justin and his staff were very professional, thorough and good communicators. They prepared every doc they committed to, and in a timely manner. I like the lump sum fee arrangement. I would definitely recommend them.
    - Bart Hubbard
  • "We are so grateful we did this."

    We had been wanting to do and understand a trust for a long time. Once we received the meeting invite, the rest was easy. We learned about wills and trusts in an understandable way. Justin and his team are organized, thorough, friendly and helpful. They coordinated and explained each step of the process. We are so grateful we did this. The cost was invaluable. Thank you for everything. 

    - Shelly Torti
  • "Would Definitely Recommend Crain & Wooley"

    We attended a lunch seminar hosted by Shelly Joyner and her team to listen and learn more about our options with Trusts. Based on Shelly's presentation, examples, and knowledge of Trusts, we were sold on Crain & Wooley as the firm to prepare and manage our Trust.

    The Crain & Wooley process from start to finish was fast, efficient and very professional. Throughout the progression, both Shelly and Steve Crosby communicated, answered all our questions, and provided various trust documents through the portal for our review /comments.

    Would highly recommend the services of Crain & Wooley!!

    - Paul & Helen Cherry
  • "Made the Entire Process a Seamless Operation"

    Finding a law firm to assist me in creating a "Living Trust" was very confusing. After interviewing three law firms, I chose Crain & Wooley.

    They got back to me quickly after the initial consultation and made the entire process a seamless operation. 

    I highly recommend and will work with Shelly Joyner and Crain & Wiiley again in the future. 

    - Ricky Ellis
  • "I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice."
    I am very pleased with the professional services of Crain and Wooley law firm with the trust documents formalized on my behalf.  The fees were fair and the result was done in a few weeks. Terms and legal explanations were understood. I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice.
    - Alex Montanez
  • "I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax!"
    I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax because I have my affairs in order! It was a very easy process, very informative, easy to gather their information and get the awesome result of having all my documents into my trust. Very impressed with the professionalism of Shelly Joiner, Jessica and Steve. I highly recommend this law firm Crain & Wooley for all the estate planning needs. Thank you!
    - Wanda Echevarria
  • "Very Thorough In Explaining My Options"
    Shelly was very thorough in explaining my options in estate planning and reviewing the documents I did have. I appreciate the speed and ease in completing my documents and support in transitioning my home into our living trust.
    - David Smith
  • "We Felt Valued, Cared for and Appreciated"
    It was a pleasure working with Justin Crain, Shelly Joyner, Steve Crosby, and the entire staff at Crain and Wooley. From the moment we walked into their office, we felt valued, cared for and appreciated. Justin took the time to explain to us the benefits of creating a trust and patiently answered all of our questions. My wife and I particularly appreciated their educational emphasis. They provided us with videos and literature that deepened our understanding of the process and purpose of  creating a trust. We never felt any pressure during our meetings with them to purchase any legal products or services. They educated us, encouraged us to ask questions, and let us make our own decision. We did decide to create a living trust, and we are very pleased with the results.
    - William Benninghoff

Designed for Your Comfort & Convenience

Estate Planning With Us Means:
  • Flat-Rate Pricing*

    Finally, you won’t need a lawyer to understand your legal fees. We clearly communicate our pricing structure upfront, so you can feel comfortable with our service from start to finish. No surprises, no hidden fees. *Our flat rate fees apply only to proactive planning services.

  • Optional Lifetime Guarantee
    With our optional lifetime guarantee, your will and trust will be automatically updated over the years to ensure it stays current with best practices, reflects your current wishes and minimizes future confusion for your family.
  • Knowledgeable Service
    Laws change all the time. We stay up to date with all the latest information so that you’re covered. No one else in the region is as dedicated or educated in this area of law. We’re the experts so you don’t have to be.