Local Probate Lawyers Serve All Georgia Residents
Experienced Probate Lawyers Assist Clients With Guardianship of an Adult Throughout the Atlanta Metro Area and North Georgia
Like many of our clients, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to seek guardianship or conservatorship of an adult who needs your assistance in his or her day-to-day life. In Georgia, you can petition the probate court to grant you guardianship of an adult (your proposed ward must be 17 ½ years or older) if the court determines that the adult lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions about his or her health and safety. The probate court may grant conservatorship of an adult who is found to lack sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions around managing his or her property.
If you’re granted guardianship over an incapacitated adult, you’re charged with the responsibility to provide adequately for the support, care, education and general well-being of your ward. As conservator, or guardian of the incapacitated adult’s property, you’re responsible for handling their property and you can be held liable if you mismanage it.
When you want to begin the guardianship or conservatorship process, you must file a petition seeking guardianship and/or conservatorship of the alleged incapacitated adult. You’ll need to pay the initial filing fees when you submit your petition. Generally, two or more people must file. However, if you’re filing as a single person, you must also include an affidavit completed by a doctor, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker based on an examination within 15 days prior to filing your petition.
Ultimately, the petitioner must present enough evidence to prove to the court that the proposed ward doesn’t possess the capacity to manage their finances or care. The court must see that the ward lacks the ability to make or communicate significant responsible decisions, and that the guardianship or conservatorship is necessary for their well-being and overall quality of life.
Once you’re appointed guardian of an incapacitated adult, you must file Personal Status Reports about your ward’s condition annually. If you’re a conservator, you might be required to post a bond (that’s an insurance policy to ensure that your ward’s funds are protected in case the conservator mishandles the assets), and make an Inventory and Annual Returns.
It’s a smart idea to be informed about whether pursuing a guardianship or a conservatorship for an adult ward makes the most sense for you and the individual you want to protect. The experienced attorneys at Steele Law Firm can help you understand your options upfront so you can make the most informed decision. To learn more about your options, if you reside in Gwinnett County or anywhere in Georgia, give us a call today.
Trusted Gilmer County Probate Attorneys Help Clients Through the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Adults Process Throughout Georgia
After you’ve filed your petition with the court, a few things will happen:
- The court clerk schedules a court-appointed physician, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker to visit and evaluate your proposed ward.
- The proposed ward is served with a copy of your petition.
- The ward will be appointed an attorney to represent him or her, unless he or she retains counsel within two days of being notified.
- The court will notify the proposed ward’s nearest adult relatives, including parents, siblings and children, about the petition and the hearing.
- The court will likely require background checks for you or anyone else who’s requested guardianship or conservatorship duties.
- You may be required to post a bond prior to your appointment. The court sets the amount of the bond based on the value of the ward’s liquid assets. Tip: You can start with your auto or homeowners insurance to see if they offer surety bonds.
Once all notices are rendered, the court clerk will schedule your hearing date with you or your attorney. If the court grants your petition, the court will enter an order and you’ll take an Oath of Office and you’ll receive Letters of Guardianship or Conservatorship.
For such a life-changing situation as becoming a guardian or conservator of an incapacitated adult, we recommend working with an experienced attorney who can walk you through the process or represent you in court during the proceedings. To learn more about how the attorneys at Steele Law Firm can advocate for you and your family in Gwinnett County and throughout Georgia, give us a call today.
Trusted Probate Attorneys Help Clients Through the Conservatorship Process for Adults in Gordon County and Throughout Georgia
There will be some things you’ll be required to do if you’re appointed a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult:
- If you’re appointed as a guardian, you’ll need to file a Personal Status Report on behalf of your ward, to report specific details about their current situation. Those details include where your ward is living, how the ward is faring generally, how the ward’s needs are being met, and whether there have been any chances that warrant court intervention or a change in the guardianship order. That report is due within the first 60 days after you’re appointed guardian, and then every year thereafter.
- If you’re appointed as a conservator, you’re required to file an Inventory Asset Management Plan within 60 days of being appointed. This plan line items your ward’s property and includes a plan for managing, spending or distributing the ward’s property. You may also be asked to file Annual Returns within 60 days of the date you were appointed conservator and every year thereafter that you serve in this role.
- As we mentioned earlier, you’ll most likely be required to post a bond in an amount the court determines.
A guardianship or a conservatorship of an adult ward automatically ends when the adult ward passes away. A conservatorship can also end when the ward’s rights are restored or when his or her assets no longer justify management by a conservator. To close a conservatorship or be relieved of liability under the bond, you must file a Petition of Discharge. If a ward dies, you’ll need to file a death certificate or a copy of the obituary with the court.
If you’ve been serving as guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult and no longer wish to serve, you can file a Petition for Resignation to seek a successor.
Going through the guardianship or conservatorship process for an incapacitated adult can be complex and difficult to navigate without a knowledgeable legal advocate in your corner. Our lawyers at Steele Law Firm are available to sit down with you and help you understand how the guardianship of an adult process works in Georgia. We can guide you through the process and court system in a way that’s as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family.
To learn more, contact us for a consultation today, if you’re located in Gilmer County or anywhere in Georgia.
Call Steele Law Firm to Set Up a Consultation With an Experienced Gwinnett County Adult Conservatorship Attorney Today
At Steele Law Firm, our Georgia attorneys with experience in adult guardianship and conservatorship cases can help you through this process, walking you through the requirements step by step. We’ll start by talking with you to review all of your options and to see if guardianship or conservatorship of a loved one is your best avenue. Plus, when it’s time, it makes sense to have an experienced attorney by your side who can guide you through court hearings and represent you in front of the judge. Put your family first and speak with an experienced guardianship/conservatorship attorney.
Steele Law Firm serves clients in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Fannin, Forsyth, North Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk counties, as well as throughout the entire state of Georgia.