Guardian Ad Litem under Texas Law
The Latin phrase "ad litem" means to "litigate" or "represent in litigation."
In probate court every guardianship case in Texas must be required by law to appoint at least one ad litem attorney. Under Texas law there are two distinct types of ad litems, (1) the attorney ad litem and (2) the guardian ad litem. Each type serves a specific function in guardianship cases.
Texas law defines an attorney ad litem as "an attorney who provides legal services to a person, including a child, and who owes to the person the duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation."
A guardian ad litem is an attorney that is "appointed to represent an incapacitated or minor person in a non-family civil suit in order to recommend to the court independently, any settlement or other appropriate actions based on the ad litem's best professional judgment that are in the plantiff's best interest.
The attorney ad litem is appointed to represent the "legal interests" of a Ward or proposed Ward of an estate while the guardian ad litem serves to represent the "best interests" of the Ward or proposed Ward.
For example, if a son agrees to provide for father's care after the mother passes away he may apply to serve as his guardian. However if the father objects for any reason a court is required to appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the father's legal interests in the matter. The attorney ad litem is required to explain any consequences of guardianship to the father and must fight on his behalf if needed.
In cases such as this a court will likely also appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the father's best interest. The guardian ad litem would investigate the issues surrounding the father's condition and make the determination as to what is in the father's best interest. In such a case the guardian ad litem will report to the court whether or not the father may need a guardian regardless of the father's opinion in the matter.
To become eligible to be appointed an attorney ad litem in Texas Probate courts an attorney must complete a State Bar approved training course. the initial certification. This for two years. Once an attorney has been certified for two consecutive two-year periods, subsequent certifications are for (4) years.
|Guardian Ad Litem (Family) in Texas Law|
Civil Practice and Remedies
pertaining to proceedings to appoint receiver
pertaining to judicial approval, appeal, immunity, costs paid by state, reports of sexual abuse of a minor, summons, detention hearing, waiver of jurisdiction, discretionary transfer to criminal court, disposition hearing, hearing to modify disposition, finding of unfitness, finding of lack of responsibility for conduct, right to appeal, interstate compact, definition of dual role,powers and duties, access to a child, information relating to child, mandatory appointment
pertaining to appointment of attorney in dual role, attorneys fees, continued representation, ad litem appointments for child committed to texas youth commission, certain prohibited appointments, fees, volunteer advocates, interview a child in chambers, rights and duties of parent appointed sole managing conservator, rights and duties of nonparent appointed as sole conservator, appointment of parenting coordinator, powers and duties, confidentiality, permanency progress report, continued or renewed appointment, duties, contracts for substitute care and case management services, placement of children, consent for medical care, enrollment and participation in research programs, judicial review of medical care
pertaining to administration of statutory probate courts, district court fees and costs, statutory county court fees and costs, consent for release of confidential information, special right of access
Health & Safety Code
pertaining to notice, court hearing, consent for release of confidential information, definition of legally authorized representative
Human Resource Code
pertaining to confidentiality, disclosure of information, agency exchange of information, referral for guardianship services, report concerning foster children committed to commission, rules regarding services for foster children, referral to guardianship program, exemption from guardianship bonds costs fees and expenses
Local Government Code
pertaining to supplemental court initiated guardianship the
pertaining to definition of legally authorized representative
pertaining to evidencing disclaimer or renunciation of property or interest receivable from of decedent, notice, incapacitated persons, independent administration, court appointed successor independent executor, costs and security, immunity, appointment of attorney ad litem, costs against guardianship, compensation of certain guardians, annual determination of your guardianship should be continued modify determinate, persons disqualified to serve as guardians, reports initiation of guardianship proceedings, use of records and hearing to appoint a guardian, restoration of boards capacity or modification of guardianship, payment for guardians ad litem, appointment of attorney to represent ward, guardian purchasing property of the estate, guardianship required to keep estate invested, power to make tax motivated gifts, inspection of certain instrument for estate planning purposes, creation of management trust, bond requirement for trustees
pertaining to appointment of guardian ad litem for a minor
pertaining to judicial modification or termination of trusts, liability for written agreements,pleadings and judgment, guardian or attorney ad litem, waiver of notice, judicial control of discretionary power, management by decree, management by bonded manager, investment of funds, trust or property, structured settlement
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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