Guardianship and Probate

As our parents age, we may see them slipping, unable to manage their own financial or personal affairs. You may have an ailing parent, or an incapacitated or disabled adult child or sibling who cannot care for herself or himself. You may be considering asking a family member or family friend to serve as a guardian or conservator for that disabled or incapacitated person.

At Kantack Alcantara Law Office, P.C., of South Padre Island, our lawyers have been providing answers to guardianship, conservatorship and estate planning issues for more than three decades.

Probate and Estate Administration

After a loved one has died, a court may need to designate an administrator or executor of the estate — someone who will have the responsibility to collect the assets of an estate, distribute assets and pay expenses after death.

He or she will inventory the estate, including valuing all assets and property, identifying creditors and contacting all heirs of the estate. The executor must also pay all creditors from the estate and liquidate any assets that have not been left to a beneficiary specifically. Finally, the executor will disburse the assets and property to the appropriate heirs.

In Guardianship, Less Is More

Because guardianship limits a person's rights, the court prefers that other alternatives be tried first, such as:

  • Assistive services from community agencies, including case management
  • Trusts
  • Advance directives (living wills) regarding end-of-life medical treatments
  • Durable power of attorney for health care or property issues
  • Shared checking accounts so that a relative or trusted friend can help an elderly family member pay bills
  • Asking a family member or outside agency to serve as a representative payee for Social Security payments

If the family decides to go forward with guardianship, the court will appoint a guardian and take away only the rights that the elderly family member cannot properly address. The court, for example, may allow the family member to decide where he or she will reside, while letting the guardian decide if the person is capable of driving. A guardian may not profit from the role because the funds continue to belong to the elderly person. The guardian is merely acting on behalf of the elderly family member, and must promote his or her best interests. The guardianship is evaluated annually by the court.

Contact Us Today

For seasoned counsel on wills, guardianships and estate planning, contact our South Padre Island, Texas, law office for a confidential consultation with a skilled estate planning attorney. Call us toll free at 866-306-6122. Our office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and evenings and weekends by appointment. If necessary, a lawyer will be glad to travel to your home or office in order to meet with you. We strive to offer clients competitive, reasonable rates and professional, focused estate planning counsel.

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