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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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What is the legal process that an individual may go through

Customer Question

What is the legal process that an individual may go through to transfer their legal status as parent of their child, now adult at over 21, and to another family member, e.g. a sibling of the parent? Can it be done? How long does it take? Is it a complicated process?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,If the child is an adult (over the age of 18) there is no parental status to be transferred.However, if the adult child requires ongoing care and supervision (they are living with a mental disability that makes them unable to care for their needs of daily living), then a person (parent, family member, or the County) can petition to become the individual's "Conservatorship" or Guardianship - there are 2 types, "conservator of the estate" (meaning that they manage only the individual's money and financial affairs), and "conservator of the person" (meaning that they manage both the individual's financial affairs, but also their healthcare, where the individual lives, and make other choices for them as well).The type of conservatorship is based on the scope and severity of the individual's disability or impairment, courts impose rigid tests to determine whether or not a conservatorship is required (the individual is even entitled to a jury trial to contest being conserved, although in practice this is rarely invoked), and will impose the "least restrictive environment" on the conservatee (this applies more to the "conservatorship of the person" when they are looking at where the individual will be living).You can find more information on Texas Guardianship here:
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for information on conservatorship of an adult child with a disability requiring parental care however that is not the situation here. There are no disabilities. There could be inheritance consequences, however, for changing parentage. Is there not some legal process which can change the legal parentage of an adult from biological parent to some other person in the eyes of the law?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
If a person (parent or otherwise) wishes to leave their assets to a specific person or individual, or wishes to ensure that a specific individual does not receive specific assets, they will want to do so with a will or a trust.You can use these testamentary documents to designate who receives items in your estate, and who does not.There is no way to "disown" a child legally.If you die "intestate" (without a will or a trust) your assets will be distributed through the state's intestate succession statute, which is summarized here:
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So therefore to "disown" a child legally, such cannot be achieved by changing legal parentage of the child which you describe as not possible. The only way would be to create express written language in a will that limited or cut out the child from the extate -- but they would still be recognized legally as a child of the deceased....Correct? For reference, the child in this situation has requested to be cut out of the estate...FYI
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Correct.They are still parent and child.However, the parent can determine the way in which their assets are divided following their death by creating a will or a trust (most trusts and estates attorneys recommend the use of a trust as it has the benefit of avoiding probate - I believe this is discussed in the link I provided above as well).The nature of the relationship (friendly or acrimonious, or otherwise) between the two is not material to this distribution from a legal perspective, however, from a practical perspective, having their cooperation or understanding in the matter will certainly help to avoid any issues in probating a will, or in executing a trust, after the death of the parent.