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Dallas Guardianships Attorneys

Applying for and sustaining a legal guardianship is a complicated process, even more so if the guardianship is contested by the proposed ward. If you are planning on applying for guardianship in Dallas, you will need experienced legal representation for your case to be successful. The Texas guardianship lawyers of Staubus and Randall have handled a large number of contested and uncontested guardianships. We have also successfully tried these cases in jury and non-jury trials.

If you are ready to begin the process of becoming a guardian, contact Staubus and Randall for a consultation to discuss your situation and find out how our team can help you.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is obtained in a legal proceeding involving the issue of whether a person has become mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs (guardianship of the estate) or making their own medical decisions, or living independently (guardianship of the person).

Guardianships often involve minors who inherit assets or who live with disabilities, injured or mentally incapacitated adults, and elderly individuals who have become mentally incapacitated because of an illness. In some cases, a person may wish to establish a guardianship to prevent an elderly family member from being financially abused or otherwise taken advantage of by another caregiver.

Anyone can apply to be a guardian, but for a petition to be successful, the applicant must be able to show that the potential ward is incapacitated or unable to make medical/financial decisions for themselves.

The number of Americans aged 65 or older was 54.1 million in 2019. By 2034, the number of people in that age group will have expanded to 77 million, and the average American lifespan is expected to continue to extend, reaching 83.37 in 2050. With the anticipated increase in people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Staubus and Randall is committed to providing vigorous and empathetic guardianship representation to expertly meet these needs.

Guardianship of the Person in Texas

When creating a guardianship of the person, the court appoints a guardian to make personal and medical decisions on behalf of a ward. This may include decisions related to the ward’s healthcare, living situation and place of residence, basic needs (i.e., food, clothing), medications, and personal affairs. Guardianships of the person are often created for the benefit of an elderly parent or aging relative.

To obtain a guardianship, the applicant must file an application in probate court, typically in the county where the proposed ward resides. After a petition for guardianship has been filed, the court will designate an attorney ad litem to represent the proposed ward. Then, the court will hold a hearing to discuss the guardianship application.

The court will then determine whether there is a legitimate need for a guardianship. If the court approves the applicant’s petition, the county clerk will issue letters of guardianship. The guardian must submit an annual report to the court detailing the ward’s living situation and medical status.

Guardianship of the Estate in Texas

When a person is appointed as a guardian of the estate, they are responsible for managing the financial affairs of a ward who is incapable of making their own financial decisions. This could be an elderly relative who is mentally incapacitated or a child who has inherited property but is not yet of age.

The designated guardian has a fiduciary duty to the ward, meaning they must act in the best interests of the ward when making financial decisions on their behalf and must preserve the ward’s assets while serving as a guardian. Guardians of the estate are required to file a yearly account with the probate court.

As is the case with a guardianship of the person, applicants for a guardianship of the estate must file a guardianship petition with the probate court in the county where the proposed ward lives. The court will assign an attorney ad litem to represent the potential ward at a hearing, after which the court will issue a decision. If guardianship is approved, the court will order letters of guardianship. Guardians must post a bond to safeguard the ward’s assets from potential mismanagement.

Even after a petition for guardianship has been approved by a court, guardians still have many legal obligations to fulfill. By regularly consulting with a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer, you can ensure that you are complying with all necessary requirements.

How Staubus and Randall Can Help

When there is no dispute that the person in question lacks the capacity to make their own medical or financial decisions, our experience makes the guardianship process relatively simple. Whether you are petitioning for a guardianship of the person or a guardianship of the estate, we can guide you through the application process and represent you in court.

When the issue of capacity is contested by the proposed ward or by a family member or other party, a guardianship contest can become a hotly contested and complex case, requiring the knowledge, experience, and firepower of a boutique law firm team of experienced guardianship lawyers with specific guardianship trial experience.

We often represent family members in seeking guardianship of an aging parent or other family member who is the target of financial abuse, misuse of a power of attorney, neglect, or other forms of elder abuse. Typical warning signs giving rise to the need to pursue a guardianship of a vulnerable adult include sudden changes in power of attorney or estate plans, unusual banking activity, transfers of assets, or a caregiver or family member who isolates the elder from seeing or talking to their family members or friends.

We also defend people against guardianship actions brought by family members or others seeking to gain control of that person’s assets or place them in a nursing home against their will or who attempt to void existing powers of attorney.

In support of our guardianship representation, we maintain a network of recognized and respected medical and financial experts we can enlist to seek or defend against a guardianship application.

Contact a Dallas Guardianship Lawyer Today

Are you thinking about applying for guardianship in Dallas? If so, contact the Dallas guardianship attorneys at Staubus and Randall today by calling 214-691-3411 to set up a consultation with our experienced guardianship team. We will help you navigate the legal process and work tirelessly to achieve your desired outcome.

The Firm

The attorneys at Staubus and Randall have over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning, probate, and litigation. We have the knowledge and skills to tackle complex legal issues, such as guardianships, will contests, fiduciary litigation, and trust litigation. We can also handle routine matters, such as estate administration, probating wills, heirship determinations, and other probate court matters.

Staubus and Randall received a preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from a peer-rated legal service. This rating recognizes our hard work, dedication, and the case results we’re able to achieve.

Staubus & Randall Team

What Our Clients Say

"I recently had the occasion to hire Mr. Staubus for a hotly contested Guardianship matter. Mr. Staubus brought a rare combination of effectiveness, reasonableness and understanding of the human element involved. Mr. Staubus handled all things in a calm, highly competent, effective and reasonable way. It could not have been as easy as he made it seem. He's a credit to the Bar."


"Before retaining the guidance of the Staubus & Randall firm, I was at my wit's end trying to close an uncle's estate as a co-executor. In addition to dealing with difficult heirs, I had other pressing business issues coming up immediately on estate land in the middle of the Eagleford Shale including dealings with pipeline, seismic, oil & gas, and construction companies. The local bank also refused to give me access to information relating to the estate. This quickly became the most stressful and desperate time in my life...and then I found Joseph Legere who truly became my guardian angel. He was able to get all issues resolved efficiently and the estate fully closed. His professionalism, immense legal knowledge on a wide variety of topics, and amazing communication skills took the burdens off of me and quickly got closure. I am forever indebted to this firm for giving me my life back."


"Without exception, the legal service, professional attitude, prompt communication of your firm and your legal knowledge is second to none. I only wish I had an attorney here in Boston that could hold a candle to your experience and expertise. Working with you has been a pleasure, but even more, has made me believe that there are knowledgeable attorneys that do care about doing a good job. Thank you Keith! You may not truly understand how much of an impact you are having on peoples lives, but for me, you have helped change my life. As I begin making my dreams come true I can't help but remember none of this would be possible without you."


"Keith Staubus and Julie Blankenship and their team represented me in a jury trial in the probate court where the ownership of the business which I had worked hard to build was at stake. They successfully fought to preserve my business and my professional reputation, working masterfully to gain the support of the jury. I would not hesitate to hire them again in any bet-the-company litigation.”


"I have required legal representation twice in my life in two separate will contests. Both times I sought assistance from Keith Staubus and Staubus/Randall. Their service, approach, and determination to obtain results exceeded the other attorneys in each case. Mr. Staubus has always come across as genuine while being direct. He gets the process done in a timely manner with results. I will certainly use him again when and if any new challenges arise.”


"After my husband's death, I was devastated by having to defend against a vicious dispute over my husband's estate. Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus made me feel very comfortable in this distressing situation. They were very tough and did an excellent job for me in obtaining a summary judgment in my favor without a full jury trial. I was glad to have them and Diane Walker in my corner to help me achieve an excellent result - I won! If I ever had to go back to probate court, I would hire them again.” - (will and trust construction case)


"If you need intervention for someone you love but don't know where to turn or who to turn to, Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus helped me through the most difficult and stressful time in my life with a much loved family member. I now believe that good will triumph over evil. They fought for what was right, and good prevailed." (contested guardianship and will contest)


"As a professional money manager, I have used Ryan Randall's estate planning services both personally and for my clients. Ryan has exhibited three critical attributes in his work with me: (1) high intellectual capacity, (2) exceptional thoroughness, and (3) a total commitment to integrity. In today's litigious world, it can be quite costly not to "get things done right.” An added bonus to us was that we found one of the nicest people we could imagine.”


"I was represented by Keith Staubus as an income beneficiary in a lawsuit with the trustee of a family trust. Utilizing the expertise of a forensic accountant and his own trust expertise, Keith was able to negotiate a judicial modification of the trust providing for the buyout of my income interest for a substantial lump sum payment out of the trust, resulting in a win-win situation for all of the parties. I highly recommend Staubus/Randall for any trust disputes and trust modification actions."


"I have been a wealth management specialist and retirement plan consultant with the Dallas/Fort Worth financial community for over 20 years. I have engaged Ryan Randall to work with a number of my best clients over the years, including business owners, professionals and families. My clients always appreciate Ryan’s straightforward approach to estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession planning. He makes even the most sophisticated estate planning strategies understandable."


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