Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

The court must also appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the "interests" of the proposed ward in any guardianship proceedings of adults or minors based on mental health, including the termination of guardianships, but the term "interests" is not defined in terms of whether it is best vs. legal interests. Tex. Estates Code Ann. §§ 1054.001, 1202.101. In In re Guardianship of Glasser, 297 S.W.3d 369, 377 (Tex. App. 2009), a court found that this latter statutory provision authorized the judge to appoint more than one attorney for a proposed ward if the judge deemed it necessary.


Additionally, Tex. Estates Code § 1054.007 gives the judge discretionary power to appoint an attorney ad litem in any guardianship proceeding for an incapacitated person or another person who has a legal disability; a “proposed ward”; a nonresident; an “unborn or unascertained person”; or an “unknown or missing potential heir.” 


Under Tex. Health and Safety Code § 613.004(c), the court must appoint an attorney ad litem and a guardian ad litem to represent the ward's interests if the guardian petitions the court (pursuant to § 613.003) for an order authorizing the ward to donate a kidney to an immediate family member. 

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes