As defined by the Texas Probate Code, guardianship is a legal process used to provide protection for adults who are incapacitated. The Probate Code defines an incapacitated person as: “An adult individual who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter to himself or herself, to care for the individual’s own physical health, or to manage the individual’s own financial affairs.”

The Arc of Texas and The Arc of the United States believe that the majority of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can manage their own affairs with informal assistance and guidance and do not need a guardian. People with IDD can be supported in many ways to make their own decisions without taking away their rights through a guardianship. Learn more about alternatives to guardianship by reading the documents below. Each of the documents is provided in three formats: For Families, For Self-Advocates, and For Self-Advocates with Dyslexia. In addition, each of these documents are available in English and Spanish.

For more information on alternatives to guardianship, call our offices at 1-800-252-9729.

Alternatives to Guardianship

Supported Decision Making

For Families

For Self Advocates

Blank Supported Decision Making Agreement Form

Supported Decision Making in Action: Dawn and Belinda’s Story by Disability Rights Texas

Supported Decision Making in Action: Timberley and Tonya’s Story by Disability Rights Texas

Paper on Guardianship – Most people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from others, such as family and friends.  If guardianship is necessary, it should be tailored to the person’s needs.  Strict monitoring must be in place to protect the best interests and preferences of each person.

Education Decision Making When Your Child Turns 18

Other Helpful Links:

Family Eldercare – Family Eldercare is appointed by the Probate Court to be legal guardian for elders and people with disabilities who have no appropriate family or friends to act in that capacity.

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