A Conservatorship is a legal arrangement that allows you to handle someone else’s finances when they are unable to manage them on their own.
It is important to note that this arrangement is only appropriate if a person is legally incapacitated, meaning they are unable to make decisions for themselves. A knowledgeable attorney can further explain what this means and whether a Conservatorship is appropriate in your situation. If this arrangement is the right decision for your circumstances, our legal team can guide you through the appointment process so that you can provide the care your loved one needs.
If you know someone who is incapable of making their own financial decisions, you should consult a Georgia Conservatorship lawyer at our firm.
A Conservator has the power to oversee the financial affairs of another person, known as a ward. As a Conservator, your duties may include:
Because there are many responsibilities that come with a Conservatorship, it is best to work with one of our local attorneys to help you fulfill your duties.
Guardianships and Conservatorships are similar in some ways, but there are important distinctions. In both arrangements, the ward no longer has the legal capacity to make significant decisions about their own life once a court appoints a Guardian or Conservator. However, a Conservator only oversees a ward’s financial matters and property. Guardianship, on the other hand, involves becoming a ward’s official legal representative and making decisions regarding their health and safety.
The court appoints a Guardian to take custody and control over a person who is not capable of making or communicating decisions about their life and well-being Some of the responsibilities of a Guardian include providing necessary care and ensuring that the ward has adequate food, shelter, and medical treatment.
Only an individual person may be a Guardian. This keeps agencies, businesses, or organizations from seeking control over a person. The appointed Guardian should not have any adverse conflicts of interest with the ward, which prevents owners or operators of long-term care facilities from guardianship unless they are a family member. Additionally, minors may not serve as Guardians.
However, an existing Conservatorship does not limit a person from seeking Guardianship over a proposed ward. In other words, it is possible to serve as both a Conservator and a Guardian of the same person in Georgia. This would involve managing the ward’s personal life decisions as well as their finances.
In Georgia, only a state Probate court has the power to appoint a Conservator. To make this appointment, the court must determine that the adult does not have the capacity to make important decisions about their own finances or property. A Conservatorship may also be appropriate for adults who are unable to communicate their financial decisions.
There are multiple steps in establishing a Conservatorship in Georgia. It can be a complex undertaking, but our dedicated attorneys are here to guide you through it. During our free consultation, we will go through any of the following processes in greater detail.
The first step in creating a Conservatorship is filing a legal document known as a petition. A Conservatorship petition requires two people to file, and both individuals must attest that the proposed ward is unable to make their own financial decisions. If you are the only person filing a petition, you must include a written statement from a medical professional who recently observed the proposed ward. There are specific requirements for this medical statement, which a skilled lawyer at our firm can explain.
Your petition must also contain enough evidence of incapacitation to convince the court that the person is incapable of making their own financial decisions. The court may also get a licensed physician or social worker to observe the proposed ward to determine if a Conservatorship is truly necessary.
If a petition is denied, you must wait a full two years before reapplying. In the world of elder law, a lot can occur in two years causing even more issues than originally planned for.
Once you file your petition, the court will set a date for a hearing. At the hearing, the court will ask you and your lawyer questions about your request for Conservatorship. If the court is convinced that this arrangement is necessary, they will issue the formal documentation that you need to act on behalf of your ward.
Being appointed is not the end of the Conservatorship process. As a Conservator, you must regularly update the court on why the arrangement is still necessary. For instance, you must file an asset report in the first 60 days after your appointment. This report includes a full list of the ward’s available assets, as well as your plan for the ward’s property.
Additionally, you must complete this report every year and submit it within 60 days of the anniversary of your appointment. The seasoned attorneys can further explain these deadlines and help you complete the necessary documents for the Conservatorship.
Establishing a Conservatorship is not an easy process, especially without legal guidance. If you wish to make financial decisions on behalf of your loved one, discuss your situation with a Georgia Conservatorship lawyer at our firm. Our attorneys can explain this type of legal arrangement and help you meet the legal requirements. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated team members.
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