Frequently Asked Questions
Assistance for the Elderly
Someone is taking advantage of my elderly relative. What can I do? First, in Texas you have a legal duty to report abuse or neglect to the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (Adult Protective Services) by calling the toll-free number: 1-800-252-5400. You can get more information about elder abuse and reporting requirements from TDPRS's web site. Depending on the circumstances, there are other steps you can take to protect the elderly person.
Should I ask for a guardianship? If you suspect that your elderly relative is legally incapacitated and unable to care for himself or herself, a guardianship may be appropriate. For more information about guardianships, click here. You may also send an “information letter” to the judge of the probate court in the county where your relative lives, informing the judge that the elderly person may be in need of a guardianship. There are less restrictive alternatives to guardianship that may be appropriate to consider. For more information on alternatives to guardianship, click here.
What if my relative needs help managing her money? Your relative may have access to some assistance, depending on where she lives. Texas has 23 local money management programs that receive state funding for providing bill paying and other money management services for qualified elders, and some counties have private non-profit organizations that provide similar services Your relative may also want to consider designating you or some other person as agent on a power of attorney, or even creating a trust. Click here for more information on trusts and powers of attorney as alternatives to guardianship.
Caring for an elderly relative can be challenging but rewarding. Contact The Karisch Law Firm, PLLC for more information.