Senate Research Center   H.B. 2165
76R14408 EBy: Naishtat (Moncrief)


Currently, a court may authorize compensation for a guardian only from the
ward's estate.   If the ward has no estate, the court cannot compensate
guardians and must find a volunteer to serve when the ward has no suitable
family members.  Courts need to appoint guardians in indigent guardianship
cases, but have been resistant because of current law.  County
commissioners have been willing to pay guardians of a person out of the
court's budget, but have been reluctant to do so because of the law, as
well. H.B. 2165 would authorize a county to pay for certain attorney and
guardian ad litem fees, if appropriate, out of the county treasury. 


As proposed, H.B. 2165 authorizes a county to pay for certain attorney and
guardian ad litem fees. 


This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1. Amends Section 665, Probate Code, to authorize a court to
authorize compensation for that guardian if funds in the county treasury
are budgeted for that purpose and if the estate of a ward is insufficient
to pay for the services of a private professional guardian or a licensed
attorney serving as a guardian of the ward's person.  Makes a conforming

SECTION 2. Amends Section 665B(a), Probate Code, to make conforming
changes.  Deletes text regarding the appointing of the person's guardian.
Makes a conforming change.  

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 683, Probate Code, to set forth information that
a court may require in order to establish probable cause under this
section.  Permits the court who creates a guardianship for a ward to
authorize compensation of a guardian ad litem, from funds available of the
ward's estate, who files the appropriate application.  Permits the court to
authorize compensation from the county treasury if the court examines the
ward's assets and finds insufficient funds for payment of services. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Part 3A, Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code, by adding
Section 683A, as follows: 

Sec. 683A.  INFORMATION LETTER.  Sets forth certain descriptions,
statements, and information that may be contained in an information letter
about a person believed to be incapacitated. 

SECTION 5.  Amends Section 743, Texas Probate Code, by adding Subsection
(j), to authorize a guardian of the person to complete and file the report
required under this section without the assistance of an attorney. 

SECTIONS 6-7.  Makes application of this Act prospective.

SECTION 8.Effective date: September 1, 1999.

SECTION 9.Emergency clause.