Guardianships & Conservatorships
Guardianships and Conservatorships are legal proceedings in the probate court that allow one person to ask for control of another person’s finances and health care. There must be a demonstrated need for the court’s appointment of a guardian or conservator that would generally show that the person cannot make his or her own health care decisions and cannot manage money for him or herself.
When a person suffers full dementia but is still physically healthy, an appointed guardian can direct that person’s medical decisions. Quite often, the mentally incapacitated person will also need a conservator appointed to manage that person’s money and property. If the court finds probable cause to have a guardian or conservator appointed on the ward’s behalf, it will schedule a hearing. An emergency guardian can also be appointed if the need is dire.
Differences Between Guardians & Conservators
In Georgia, being appointed as a guardian or a conservator has distinct responsibilities. A guardian is an individual appointed to make decisions regarding medical and other forms of treatment. Aconservator is an individual appointed to make financial decisions.
A guardian will make decisions involving all of the following elements:
- Place of residence
- Types of medical treatment
A conservator will make decisions regarding financial concerns such as:
- Paying bills and other debts
- Creating a budget for the ward
- Handling investments on behalf of the ward
- Filing taxes
Creating a Guardianship or Conservatorship
If you would like to establish a guardianship or conservatorship for a loved one in Georgia, our Atlanta estate planning attorney and skilled legal team can help you through the process. You will need two petitioners who file a petition in the probate court in the area where the ward is currently residing.
Our Firm and experienced Atlanta elder law attorney can help with guardianship and conservatorship proceedings in the least stressful and most time-efficient manner for the family involved. As most guardianships and conservatorships can be alleviated with the proper implementation of advance directive for health care and financial power of attorney documents, we strongly recommend the inclusion of these incapacity documents when making one’s estate plan.
As an estate planning and probate firm, we understand that most people do not have these important documents. We specialize in effectively helping clients with the conservatorship and guardianship proceedings when the need arises.
Legal Guidance from Our Cobb County Estate Planning Lawyer
Whether you want to appoint guardian or conservator or have been appointed to one of these roles, you will need the effective representation of our Firm. We can take actions to protect your rights and ensure that the decisions made are in your best interest.
Having a guardian appointed takes away many rights from the ward, including his or her right to:
- Sign a contract
- Consent to medical treatment
- Establish a residence
Terminating a Guardianship or Conservatorship
Individuals appointed as guardians and conservators are bound by law to act in the ward’s best interest. They must permit the ward to participate in the decision-making process when possible. The conservatorship or guardianship will terminate upon the death of the ward or when a petition for removal is successful.
Contact our Atlanta elder law attorney for the legal guidance you need!