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texlawyer, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their estate law questions and experienced in estate law litigation.
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My step dad passed away in August and my little brother that

Customer Question

My step dad passed away in August and my little brother that is 17 is living with me. He will be 18 at the end of January. My step dads life insurance is not paying the funeral cost due to my brother being the beneficiary and is under 18. They said I need to obtain guardianship of his estate. How do I do this without incurring a huge fee?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: As in?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not sure
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  texlawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.

Here is the basic process:

You'll need to file an application for guardianship. In that application, you'll need to include the following information:

the name, sex, date of birth, and address of the proposed ward

  • the name, relationship and address of the person the applicant desires to have appointed as guardian, and
  • the social security number of the proposed ward and of the person the applicant desires to have appointed as guardian if required by that court
  • whether guardianship of the person or estate, or both, is sought
  • the nature and degree of the alleged incapacity, the specific areas of protection and assistance requested, and the limitations of rights requested to be included in the court’s order of appointment
  • the facts requiring that a guardian be appointed and the interest of the applicant in the appointment
  • the nature and description of any kind of guardianship existing for the proposed ward in Texas or in any other state
  • the name and address of any person or institution having the care and custody of the proposed ward
  • the approximate value and description of the proposed ward’s estate, including any compensation, pension, insurance or allowance to which the proposed ward may be entitled
  • the requested term (one year or continuing) of the guardianship, if known
  • the name and address of any person holding a power of attorney, if known, and a description of the type of power of attorney
  • if the proposed ward is a minor:
    1. whether the minor was the subject of a legal conservatorship proceeding within the preceding two-year period, and if so, where and what was the disposition; and
    2. the names of the parents and next of kin of the proposed ward and whether either or both of the parents are deceased
  • if the proposed ward is 60 years of age or older, the names and addresses, to the best of applicant’s knowledge, of the proposed ward’s spouse, siblings, and children; or if there is no spouse, sibling or child, the names and addresses of the proposed ward’s next of kin
  • facts showing that the court has venue over proceeding; and
  • if applicable, that the person whom the applicant desires to have appointed as a guardian is a private professional guardian who has complied with the requirements of the Texas Probate Code.
Expert:  texlawyer replied 1 year ago.

Next, the court clerk will issue a citation to be served in person on the proposed ward. If the application is filed in a Statutory Probate Court, the court will appoint a court investigator. The investigator meets with the proposed ward, attorney of record, social workers, family members and any other persons necessary to determine if guardianship is the least restrictive manner in which to handle the case.

The court investigator files a report with the court. This report is made available to the attorney of record. If the application is not withdrawn based on the court investigator’s review and recommendation, an attorney ad litem is appointed to advocate for the alleged incapacitated individual.

The attorney appointed by the court to represent your brother will review all of this material, and make a recommendation to the court whether the guardianship will be approved or not.

You, of course, will have to pay for all of this, likely out of the insurance proceeds.

Expert:  texlawyer replied 1 year ago.

Taking out a guardianship over a minor is not cheap or particularly fast, and it's something you'll probably find you need to hire a lawyer to help you with. Since this is for such a short period of time, you'll want to avoid this process if possible. You might be better off taking out a loan for the money, and then repaying it once he turns 18. At a minimum, it would likely be cheaper than hiring a lawyer and paying all the court costs associated with taking guardianship over a minor.

Expert:  texlawyer replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any questions? If so, feel free to ask. If not, pleaser remember to "rate" my answer before you go.