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    About Guardianship

    ABUSE, NEGLECT OR EXPLOITATION

        If you suspect that an adult is being ABUSED, NEGLECTED OR EXPLOITED, please contact Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400 or visit the DFPS Report Abuse website.

    If you have complaints about a facility, contact the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services at 1-800-458-9858.

    If you have questions or concerns about patients' rights in a long-term care facility, please contact the Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman at 1-800-252-2412.


    WHAT IS GUARDIANSHIP?

        Guardianship is a legal proceeding whereby a person may be appointed to make medical, placement and/or financial decisions for an incapacitated person.  


    LESS RESTRICTIVE ALTERNATIVES TO GUARDIANSHIP

        The Court and attorneys are required by law to see if alternatives to guardianship exist.  Here is a list of some alternatives to guardianship.


    INITIATION OF GUARDIANSHIP

        A guardianship can be initiated in one of three ways:

    1. An application filed by an attorney
    2. An application filed by a Court Investigator (generally reserved for incapacitated individuals who are indigent)
    3. An application filed by an attorney who has been appointed by the Court (a Guardian Ad Litem)


    ASKING THE COURT TO INVESTIGATE THE NEED FOR A GUARDIAN

        Less restrictive alternatives to guardianship should be explored prior to asking the court to initiate an investigation.   If you still have a concern about an individual who may need a guardian, you can follow the procedures below and the court will determine whether it has probable cause to initiate an investigation:

    1. Complete an information letter.
    2. Have a physician complete a certificate.
    3. If the basis of a person's incapacity is an intellectual or developmental disability then the law requires that a physician or psychologist conduct an examination according to the rules adopted by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and shall submit written findings and recommendations to the Court. This report is commonly referred to as a Determination of Intellectual and Developmental Disability or "DIDD," and it must be based upon an examination conducted within the last 24 months. Please contact your physician for assistance in obtaining this Determination of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, or, you may contact Tarrant County Mental Health and Mental Retardation at 817-569-4141.
    4. You can fax the completed forms to 817-850-2337 or mail the completed forms to:

    Tarrant County Probate Clerk's Office
    100 West Weatherford St.
    Room 233
    Fort Worth, TX 76196


    REPRESENTING YOURSELF

       Pro se Policy


    USEFUL LINKS


    Accessibility Notice:
    Due to the complexity of the preceding documents, some of these documents are scanned images. If you require assistance in accessing the information, please contact Probate Court No. 1 at 817-884-1048 or probatecourt1@tarrantcounty.com.