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Relating to guardianships of the person of wards with profound intellectual disabilities who are minors or were minors when their guardianship proceedings commenced.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1675 would permit the appointment of caregiver adults as independent guardians for minors with profound intellectual disabilities who require guardians as adults. The caregiver would be able to submit an application confirming they are the parent of the child, have been their primary caregiver for all or most of their childhood, and have never been subject to an allegation of mistreatment. If the court has no reason to believe their statements are untrue, the court would be required to appoint the parent as an independent guardian without a hearing or appointed attorney. Records of an application would be required to be kept sealed unless the court finds good reason not to.
An existing guardian to which the law applies would be permitted to petition a court to convert their guardianship to an independent guardianship. Independent guardians appointed under the new law who are not also the guardian of the ward's estate would be exempt from giving a bond. Their letters of guardianship could not be subject to review more than once every five years, instead of annually. Such guardians would also be exempt from filing annual reports required for guardianships.
Texas Action supports HB 1675 because it would bolster the rights of parents of children with intellectual disabilities. Such parents should not have to encounter costly legal obstacles when attempting to obtain an independent guardianship of their child once they enter adulthood. If enacted, HB 1675 would put the presumption of right on the parent and minimize government interference in these kinds of parent-child relationships.