New to Guardianship: Background Checks for All
Here at Regan & Frisbie Law Firm, we try to keep you updated on new changes to the law that could affect you. Whether it’s Probate, Guardianship, Business Law, LLC formations, or Estate Planning, we try to keep you as informed as possible to the daily changes to the law.
One of the new changes to the Texas Estates Code is the removal of the family exemption from the background check requirement. Previously, if a spouse or close family member was applying for Guardianship over their family member, the requirement that a background check be conducted on the Applicant was waived. This exemption saved the Applicant money in the Guardianship process, but left open the possibility that an abusive family member or one with a criminal history could be appointed Guardian. One of the new changes to the Texas Estates Code removes that exemption.
Now everyone, including family members, has to submit to a background check before they can be appointed Guardian. It’s an additional cost and headache, but I believe the added protection to the Proposed Ward, an extremely vulnerable person normally suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other mental diseases outweighs the inconvenience.
The new provision in the Texas Estates Code reads:
“Sec. 1104.402. Court Clerk’s Duty to Obtain Criminal History Record Information; Authority to Charge Fee.
(a) Except as provided by Section 1104.403, 1104.404, or 1104.406(a), the clerk of the county having
venue of the proceeding for the appointment of a guardian shall obtain criminal history record information that is maintained by the Department of Public Safety or the Federal Bureau of
Investigation identification division relating to:
(1) a private professional guardian;
(2) each person who represents or plans to represent the interests of a ward as a guardian on behalf of the private professional guardian;
(3) each person employed by a private professional guardian who will:
(A) have personal contact with a ward or proposed ward;
(B) exercise control over and manage a ward’s estate; or
(C) perform any duties with respect to the management of a ward’s estate;
(4) each person employed by or volunteering or contracting with a guardianship program to provide guardianship services to a ward of the program on the program’s behalf; or
(5) any other person proposed to serve as a guardian under this title, including a proposed temporary guardian and a proposed successor guardian, other than an attorney.
(b) The clerk may charge a $10 fee to recover the costs of obtaining criminal history record information under Subsection (a).”
Blaise Regan is a Partner at Regan & Frisbie, PLLC, a law firm focusing on Wills, Trusts, Probate, Contracts, Business Formations (LLC, Corporation, S-Corp Designation), Business Disputes, and Consumer Litigation.
Regan & Frisbie, PLLC is located at 7160 Preston Road, Suite 100, Plano, Texas 75024.
Comments or questions, feel free to email him at Blaise@RFPlawfirm.com or call him at 469.200.4737.
*Nothing in this Article is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, or creating an attorney-client relationship, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only, and no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein.