​​​​​​​​​​A guardianship is a legal process that can be useful in some cases where an incapacitated person (the Ward) is unable to make or communicate sound decisions regarding their own person and/or property. This process allows the Court to appoint another person (the Guardian) to act on behalf of the incapacitated person to promote and protect their well-being.

Because guardianships limit important individual rights for Wards, alternative options must be considered and explored before pursuing a guardianship.

While considering whether a guardianship is necessary, we encourage applicants to review the resources in the Useful Links section to learn more about guardianship.

If you are an existing guardian, please remember to file your Annual Report in a timely manner each year. The updated Annual Report of the Person form can be found here​.

​JBCC Registration

Effective June 1, 2018 all guardianships in the state of Texas must be registered with the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC)​. This requirement is governed by Section 155 of the Texas Government Code. 

All guardians and guardianship applicants are required to submit certain information to the JBCC, which will be registered in the guardianship database. This includes guardianships that were established before this date, applies to both guardians in a co-guardianship, and applies to successor guardians to existing guardianships. New guardians must also complete a mandatory training course through the JBCC.

A hearing on a Guardianship Application cannot be set until all JBCC requirements have been met. 

Please refer to this​ JBCC Registration document for step-by-step instructions and an in-depth FAQ regarding the guardianship registration and guardianship training process.

Please note that if a Proposed Guardian resides outside the State of Texas, or if a Guardianship of the Estate is being sought and the Proposed Ward’s estate exceeds $50,000, the Proposed Guardian(s) must submit fingerprints for a background check. Please refer to the Probate Clerk’s Office​ for more information regarding this process.

Forms and Information

Annual-Report-of-Person-302212024.pdfAnnual Report of the Person (Last Updated: 2/21/2024) - Please print single-sided
JBCC-Registration-Instructions-309082023.pdfJBCC Registration - Instructions
Zoom-Hearings-Instructions-305022023.pdfZoom Hearings - Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

(A-1) Do I need an attorney to file a guardianship or to transfer a guardianship from another state?
At this time, all incoming applications for guardianship and transfers from out of state must be filed by an attorney. Please note that in cases involving a guardianship of the estate, an attorney must remain in the case to file Annual Accountings each year on behalf of the Guardian for the duration of the guardianship. Please see the Useful Links section for information on locating a local guardianship attorney.
(A-2) I am aware of a person in need of a guardianship who does not have any family or friends willing to accept the responsibility. What can I do?
Before reaching out to the Court with this matter, we require that you please exhaust all other options available to help this person meet their needs and eliminate the need for a guardianship. Some alternatives to guardianship can be found under the Useful Links section below. If all other methods prove inadequate, please email the Guardianship Coordinator at
(A-3) What should I do if a financial institution tells me that I need a Guardianship for my child to receive a payment from them?
A guardianship could be necessary for relatively larger amounts of money. There are simpler processes to collect smaller amounts of money that will not require a guardianship under Chapter 1355 of the Texas Estates Code. You should consult an attorney in this situation.
(B-1) Do I need to register my guardianship with the JBCC?
All guardianships need to be registered with the JBCC. This includes older guardianships, applies to both guardians in a co-guardianship, and must be done individually for each guardianship for guardians of multiple wards. Please see the JBCC Registration Instructions document above for both step-by-step instructions for how to register, as well as a detailed FAQ specifically for JBCC registration.
(B-2) Do I need to complete the guardianship training with the JBCC?
If your guardianship was granted prior to June 1, 2018, you do not need to complete the training. However, if your guardianship was granted after June 1, 2018, please complete the training and email your certificate of completion to the Probate Clerk’s Office at Please be sure to include your cause number in the email title.
(B-3) Do I need to have a fingerprints taken for my background check? And if so, where do I do this?
Fingerprints are only necessary if you are applying for a Guardianship of the Estate or you reside outside of the State of Texas. If this applies to you, you will make the arrangements through You will be required to enter the Service Code for the Probate Clerk's Office. To receive this code, please contact the Probate Clerk's Office directly at 972.548.6463.
(C-1) I am a Guardian who needs to complete my Annual Report and I do not know when to bring/mail it in. When is my Annual Report due?
Annual Reports are due two months after the Reporting Period each year. The Reporting Period is typically the month and day your guardianship was granted by the Court. For example, if the Judge granted your guardianship on October 10, 2020, then your Reporting Period would most likely be October 10 - October 10 of each year, and your Annual Report is due between October 10 and December 10 of each year.
(D-1) I am an interested party who wants to contest an application for guardianship. What do I do?
Contestants to guardianships need legal representation. Please consult an attorney. You can find information for locating a local attorney under the Useful Links section of this page.
(E-1) I am an attorney who needs to set a hearing in a contested guardianship matter. Who do I contact?
Attorneys seeking a setting for a contested guardianship matter need to schedule through our Court Coordinator, Shaunda McDonald-Willey, via email. Before emailing our Court Coordinator, please be sure to copy all attorneys in the case onto the email. A hearing will NOT be set unless all attorneys are included in this scheduling email. Contested guardianship hearings can be scheduled by reaching out to
(E-2) What should I do if I want a recording or transcript of a contested hearing that has already been held?
Please send your request to For maximum expediency, please include your name, the Cause Number of the case, the date the hearing occurred, and whether the case was held in person, over Zoom, or hybrid.
(F-1) If my question has not been answered in this FAQ or the JBCC Registration Instructions FAQ, the links to informational sites, or elsewhere on this page, who can I contact?
Please get in touch with the Guardianship Coordinator, Destiny Tatum, at

Useful Links

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Texas Law Help - Legal Aid Resources
State Bar of Texas - Find a Lawyer
Texas Young Lawyers Association - Guardianship Guide
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services - A Texas Guide to Adult Guardianship
Texas Law Help - Guardianship General Information
National Guardianship Association - What Is Guardianship?