Becoming a Guardian
What To Do When It’s Time To Take Over A Loved One’s Affairs
Selecting a guardian or conservator can be a complicated process, where emotions often run high. At Turner Law, we work diligently to dispel the anxiety by offering sound counsel and advocacy in elder law throughout each stage of the process.
We also help families avoid the need for guardianship when there are alternatives, such as powers of attorney and advance health care directives. We represent adult children, parents, concerned family members and even proposed wards in Decatur, Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia.
Becoming A Guardian Or Conservator
To become a guardian or conservator, you must file a petition with the local probate court where your loved one currently resides. The proposed ward (the person for whom guardianship is sought) will be informed of the petition and given the opportunity to hire his or her own lawyer. He or she will also undergo a mental evaluation by a doctor, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker.
Then, a hearing will be scheduled to review and finalize the petition. The court must approve someone who will best serve the interests of the proposed ward. In general, it follows this order of preference when choosing a guardian:
- The person chosen by the ward, in writing, when he or she was of sound mind
- The spouse of the proposed wardAn adult child or parent (in the case of minor guardianship) of the proposed ward
- A previously appointed guardian in Georgia or another state
- A capable volunteer the court finds suitable to the task
- A county guardian, who is a public official appointed by the county to stand in as guardian if no other suitable candidate is found
This process usually takes about a month, though it may be sped up if you have reason to believe your loved one is in real danger by filing an emergency guardianship. A temporary guardian can possibly be appointed within a week if necessary to protect your loved one. Whatever side of this issue you fall on, you can rely on our firm’s ability to find a resolution that fits your family’s unique situation.
An Often Overlooked Issue In Guardianship Petitions
Many people do not realize that as a conservator in Georgia, you must have a bond of insurance in addition to a willing heart. The bond serves to protect the financial interests of the proposed ward in case the conservator breaches his or her fiduciary duty with respect to the ward’s assets.
Robert Turner can help you meet this often overlooked requirement, either by locating a suitable bond company or by advising you on alternative options to protect your loved one’s estate.
What If We Don’t Agree On Guardianship?
Petitioning for guardianship of another person can be difficult for the entire family, especially if relatives do not agree on who should be appointed guardian or conservator. What starts out as a wish to protect mom from financial predators can become a fight over control of mom’s money.
Attorney Robert Turner is skilled at handling guardianship petitions, working to minimize the negative impact on the lives of the involved parties. We notify all relatives of pending guardianships or conservatorships to identify any ongoing disputes within the family. In all communications with loved ones, we address objections quickly and skillfully resolve them.
Helping Protect The Ones You Love
As a guardian or conservator, you want to take care of your family member, manage their resources properly and ensure no one takes advantage of them. We can help you do this. Contact Turner Law, LLC online or call phone number(866) 768-5365 toll free to discuss your needs today.