Senior man in wheelchair, with adult caregiver

There are people that are placed in your life, I believe, to either challenge you, support you, or inspire you. About fifteen years ago, a gentleman, we will call him Gary, was placed in my life to both test and inspire me. It is because of him that I discovered Private Professional Guardian (PPG) and decided to become one myself. 

While it is true, almost anyone can qualify to be a guardian for their loved one, so long as they pass the background check, pay the bond, qualify through the Court, and follow all the Court’s instructions. A PPG must complete those steps, and be fingerprinted, pass a Texas state administered test, become and stay certified, and complete the necessary number of continuing education courses, all which must be approved by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC). 

When I first started working with Gary, I never knew there were people who did guardianship as a profession. I also never dreamed my career path would lead me to be a Private Professional Guardian, to have the honor of starting and developing multiple guardianship programs, and to supervise over 200 cases through the course of my career.  

The Benefits of Guardianship

A third-party guardian can offer so much to the individual, things like a voice, direction, and protection for them and their assets. PPGs have Ethics and Standards of Conduct which they are held to through their certification. Being a family guardian can, at times, be difficult especially when there are hard decisions, like out of home care, signing a Do Not Resuscitate order, enrolling a loved one into end-of-life care, or even when family members cannot all come to the same conclusion on a decision that needs to be made. Over the years, I have met with family guardians who have expressed to me how sometimes there are decisions that must be made, but there is so much guilt and emotions attached to the decisions that it makes it difficult to do. PPGs can offer an outside and non-biased perspective on a situation, while using their education, knowledge, and past experiences to work in the best interest of the individual with guardianship. 

I remember the moment when I began to search for more options for Gary, and others like him. He needed more than his service provider could legally offer him, he needed help in all aspects of his life, and he had no family to advocate for him. His service provider began the process through the Probate Court to obtain a PPG for him. Gary passed away several years ago. I find comfort in knowing that Gary had a strong advocate to be his voice for the rest of his life. I think of Gary often and what a blessing he was to me. I told him once how he inspired me to help others, he smiled and told me to “be good”, and with that, I strive to meet Gary’s standards every day.  

Hammerle Finley Can Help With Your Guardianship Needs

Hammerle’s unique Guardian Services program is one of the only guardianship and care management programs within the state of Texas that is hosted by a sought-after law firm. If you are looking for geriatric care or guardianship assistance and have legal questions, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys and staff at Hammerle Finley Law Firm.

Courtney Carey is a Texas Certified Guardian and a Care Manager, with experience in Texas Medicaid waiver programs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health, and geriatrics. Contact Hammerle Finley Law Firm to schedule a consultation: This column does not constitute legal advice.