A declaration of guardian is a legal document indicating your preference to the court of who you would like to serve as a guardian if there are guardianship proceedings for you. Within it, you may address your choice of a guardian for your minor children, your estate, or your person.
This may be done for any number of reasons. One is to protect your children. A declaration of guardian is not just a formal way to inform the court who you would like to take care of your children if you (and your spouse if you have one) either die or become unable to take care of your child. It also permits you to specifically disqualify an individual from being appointed as the guardian of your child or yourself.
What Are the Requirements for a Declaration of Guardian?
The requirements to submit a declaration of guardian are as follows: the person signing the declaration of guardian form, also known as the declarant, must not be incapacitated, and the document must be in the declarant’s own handwriting or else be signed by two credible witnesses who are at least 14 years old and are not named as guardian themselves.
There is no set form the declaration must be in, as long as it adequately indicates the declarant’s intention. However, the Texas estates code does provide suggested language to use.
How Is a Declaration of a Guardian Used?
In the event the need arises, the declaration allows you to specify, either in your will or by written declaration, who you would like to be the guardian of your estate or person if you are ever found to be legally incompetent by the court. It is important to note that guardianship trumps power of attorney. This means if you already have an agent named in a power of attorney and another individual is later granted guardianship of your estate by the court, the guardian replaces the other agent.
How Can an Attorney Help With a Declaration of Guardian?
If you intend to write a declaration of guardian, retaining a lawyer who has the relevant experience and can guide you through drafting such a document is the best choice. Taking it upon yourself to write the document can lead to mistakes that could make it legally unenforceable.
Guardianship is tricky and often emotional, as you decide who will tend to your children upon your death. While you are best equipped to make such decisions for your family, an attorney can take the stress of creating legal documentation off your plate and ensure you have everything you need to provide the best future for yourself and your heirs.
For any questions or legal help with a declaration of guardian, call an experienced Texas attorney now at 281-771-0560.