A family tragedy involving a prominent West University couple has gone public Thursday (Oct. 31).
A probate hearing is scheduled for Monday as the grown sons of Laura and Bob Higley seek to take legal guardianship of their mother from their father — asking for control of her care for Alzheimer’s disease and what is described as an $8 million estate.
The Houston Chronicle first reported the story, and Essentials News has now viewed the filing, which paints a picture of their mother as so incapacitated by the disease that she can no longer manage her personal and financial affairs nor carry out her duties as an elected official.
Laura, 72, a former West U mayor, has served for 17 years as a justice on the Texas First Court of Appeals, while Bob is currently West U mayor. They have been married for 49 years.
In their filing, the sons, Garrett and Robert, say their mother first showed symptoms of a neurocognitive disorder two years ago, worsening in March — when she signed over her powers of attorney to her husband — and was diagnosed as Alzheimer’s on Oct. 9. The sons filed their case the following week.
The sons outline concerns that their father, whom they describe as a “malevolent enabler,” encourages their mother to continue her regular routine, including driving and court duties, despite deteriorating mental health.
Laura Higley was visible during her husband’s campaign in the spring of this year, when he ran unopposed, and swore the new West University council into office at a ceremony in Council Chambers in May.