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This guide provides information about adult guardianships in Texas.

Rights and Responsibilities

Ward's Bill of Rights

In 2015, the Texas Legislature added a new section to the Estates Code that lists all of the rights that a ward has in their guardianship. Among other rights, this section allows a ward:

  • To have a copy of the court orders that created their guardianship
  • To be informed of the contact information for several organizations and agencies where they can file complaints against their guardian or report abuse
  • To vote, marry, and obtain a driver's license unless specifically restricted by the court
  • To have private visits with people of their choice, unless the guardian finds that these visits will harm their ward
  • To be treated with respect and dignity

There are many more rights listed in the Ward's Bill of Rights. Please read the link below for the list in its entirety.

Texas Law

Responsibilities of a Guardian

Guardians have many serious legal responsibilities that come with their appointment. They must act in the best interest of their ward and manage their estate with the care that they would show their own property. The Texas Estates Code lists the powers and duties of the guardian, though each guardianship may have additional duties listed in the order.

Texas Law

Understanding the Law

Annual Reports

Guardians are required by law to submit an annual report to the court. This report must contain an accounting of how the ward's money spent and other details about their current condition.

The general definition of "guardian" under Section 1002.012 of the Texas Estates Code includes both guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate, unless otherwise specified. However, because guardians of the estate and guardians of the person have different reporting requirements, it's helpful to understand the difference. The guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate do not have to be the same person if it is in the best interest of the ward.

  • Guardians of the estate are people who are legally responsible for the care of a ward's property, including their debts and lawsuits. (Texas Estates Code 1151.101)
  • Guardians of the person are people who are legally responsible for the care of the ward themselves, including food, clothing, supervision, shelter, and medical treatment. (Texas Estates Code 1151.051)

Many courts offer forms to be used in the annual accounting report. A few are listed below. If you do not see your court listed, please contact them directly to see if they provide forms for this situation.

Texas Law