One of the most difficult decisions you may ever have to make is the decision to seek guardianship over a loved one. Sometimes, however, when a loved one is suffering from a serious disability or incapacity it becomes necessary to step in and protect both your loved one and his/her assets through the use of legal tools such as petitioning for guardianship and/or the creation of a trust agreement. If you believe a loved one is in need of a guardian, or you feel a trust is necessary to protect your own assets or those of a loved one, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Fort Worth attorney at the law firm of Puls Haney PLLC as soon as possible.
What Type of Legal Matters Does a Guardianship/Trust Lawyer Handle?
Our experienced lawyers assist clients who wish to protect a loved one who is unable to care for himself or who may be putting assets at risk because of physical and/or mental deterioration. In addition, we help people plan for the future by ensuring that assets are protected from numerous and varied potential threats, such as divorce, creditors, or incapacity.
Adult Guardianship of the Person
If you are appointed as a Guardian of the Person, you will have the authority to make personal decision for the ward (incapacitated or disabled person) that may include things such as where he/she will live, what medical treatment will be allowed, what family members may visit and what personal rights the ward will have.
Adult Guardianship of the Estate
If you are appointed the Guardian of the Estate you will have the authority to make decisions relating to the ward’s estate such as which bills to pay, how to invest the ward’s money, and what assets to sell. An experienced guardianship lawyer can help you decide if guardianship is your best option and, if so, which type of guardianship is warranted.
A testamentary trust is a trust that does not activate until after the death of the Settlor and is usually activated by a provision in the Settlor’s Last Will and Testament. Parents with minor children frequently work with a trust lawyer to establish a testamentary trust to protect their child’s inheritance until the child is old enough the inherit directly from the estate.
A living trust may be revocable or irrevocable and can be used to accomplish a wide range of goals, including incapacity planning, asset protection, and probate avoidance. A trust lawyer can help you decide which type of trust is right for your needs.
Trustee duties and responsibilities
Every trust must have a Trustee whose primary functions are to oversee the administration of the trust and to manage the trust assets. Because the job of Trustee often involves complex legal concepts, it is always best to consult with a trust lawyer to ensure that you are performing your duties correctly if you have been appointed as the Trustee of a trust.
The beneficiary of a trust has a number of rights, including the right to be kept aware of trust business. If you are a beneficiary, and you are concerned about how the Trustee is handling the trust assets, you should consult with a trust lawyer about your legal options.
At the Dallas/Fort Worth law firm of Puls Haney we are committed to helping you with all issues related to guardianship and trust agreements. Contact the Fort Worth attorneys at Puls Haney by calling 817-338-1717 or by filling out our online contact form.
Julie E. Morris
Julie E. Morris is of counsel with Puls Haney, P.L.L.C. Julie has represented both individual and businesses in a variety of litigation and family relationship matters, including family law matters, divorce proceedings, custody disputes, estate planning, and probate litigation.