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Can I Appoint a Guardian For My Child if I Am Terminally Ill? 

 Posted on August 31, 2022 in Guardianship

san antonio guardianship lawyerThe circumstances under which a parent finds themselves seeking to establish another adult as the guardian of their child can be very challenging. Whether a parent is terminally ill, fears deportation, or simply wants to establish guardianship of a child in case of disaster, the guardianship process can bring up tough questions and a long search for answers. 

While some of the existential questions that arise around guardianship of a minor can only be answered by those involved, the legal questions around guardianship can be resolved with the help of a careful plan created in conjunction with a skilled Texas guardianship attorney. If you want to know more about the process of appointing someone to be your child’s guardian, read on and then contact one of our Texas guardianship attorneys for further assistance. 

Pre-Designated Guardianship

Also known as “standby guardianship,” pre-designated guardianship is a process through which a parent can legally establish a person to become the guardian of their minor child in the event of a parent’s incapacitation or death. Until the incapacitating event, the parent still retains all legal and parental rights over the child. The parent may also pre-designate a guardian of the child’s estate, which can be the same person as the guardian of the child. 

This is all done through a declaration of standalone guardianship form or in a parent’s will. A designated guardian can be a family member, but he or she does not have to be; a trusted friend can also be a good option. This form also allows parents to specify people they do not want to serve as their child’s guardian. When the parent dies or become incapacitated, a Texas court will need to give final approval for the appointment of the chosen guardian, which will normally take place unless there is a good reason to do otherwise.

Who Will Be My Child’s Guardian if I Do Not Appoint One? 

As with many legal questions, the answer depends on the circumstances. Generally speaking, if a child’s last surviving parent did not appoint a guardian, the next closest relative (such as a grandparent, aunt, or older sibling) may become the child’s guardian. In these cases, the court will work hard to determine what would be in the best interests of the child. Sometimes this is a family member, and sometimes it is not. If the child is at least 12 years old, she may submit her preferences about the guardian which can be considered by a court. 

Contact a Compassionate Texas Guardianship Lawyer

The circumstances surrounding pre-designated guardianship are rarely ideal, but planning ahead for the future can greatly mitigate the effects of a difficult situation. If you have questions about stand-by guardianship for your child, or if you have been asked to be a guardian of someone else’s child, make sure you understand the full scope of this legal responsibility. Get help from a knowledgeable San Antonio standby guardianship attorney with The Law Office of Ryan C. Moe, PLLC by calling us now at 210-861-6000 and scheduling a confidential consultation. 



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