Why an adult guardianship?
The adult lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning his or her health.
Why an adult conservatorship?
The adult lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning the management of his or her property.
In which county do I file my Petition for Guardianship and/or Conservatorship of an adult?
A petition for the appointment of an adult guardian and/or conservator of an adult must be filed in the county in which the adult (the “proposed ward”) is found, or the ward’s domicile (the place where the adult lives and intends to remain).
Who may file a petition to have a guardian and/or conservator appointed for an incapacitated adult?
Any interested person, including the proposed ward himself or herself, may file a petition to have a guardian and/or conservator appointed
Who can serve as a guardian and/or conservator of an adult?
Any person who is not a minor, is not a ward or protected person may serve as a guardian of an adult. Also a Public Guardian, or the Department of Human Services and Adult Protective Services may serve as a guardian for an adult.
Any person who is not a minor, a ward or protected person and does not have a substantial conflict of interest can serve as conservator for an adult.
What is the process for becoming a guardian or conservator of an adult?
- File a Petition for Appointment of a Guardian and/or Conservator for a Proposed Ward and pay the filing fee.
- If upon review of the petition, the Judge determines there is probable cause to support the need for a guardianship, the Judge will order an evaluation by a disinterested physician.
- If after review of the evaluation, the Judge finds probable cause of incapacity exists, the Judge will schedule a hearing and appoint an attorney for the proposed ward if the proposed ward does not timely notify the Court that he or she has an attorney.
- The Judge schedules a hearing, at which time the Judge will decide whether or not to grant a guardianship or conservatorship.
What if I am not approved for a bond?
If you are not approved for a bond, you may file a motion with the court requesting the appointment of a county conservator; or if the court does not receive your bond within 60 days of the date of your appointment, the court will automatically appoint a county conservator.
What are my responsibilities as a guardian and/or conservator of an adult?
Guardians are required to file Personal Status Reports within 60 days of the date of their appointment. Thereafter, guardians must file a Personal Status Report each year within 60 days of the anniversary date of their appointment.
Conservators are required to file an inventory of the ward’s property and a plan for administering that property within 60 days of the date of their appointment. Thereafter, conservators must file an inventory and asset management plan each year within 60 days of the anniversary date of their appointment.
The Court reviews the reports to ensure that the guardian and/or conservator is being responsible and that the ward is safe and secure. For more information see Handbook for Guardians and Conservators of Adults in Georgia.
When does the guardianship and conservatorship end?
The death of the adult ward automatically terminates the guardianship of an adult ward.
A conservatorship of an adult ward ends when the ward dies, when a ward’s rights are restored, or when the ward’s assets no longer justify management by a conservator.
In order to close a conservatorship and be relieved from liability under the bond, the conservator must file a Petition for Discharge.
What if I am a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult but I am no longer able to serve?
A temporary guardian or conservator may petition the court for acceptance of the guardian’s resignation by filing a Petition to Resign as Guardian and/or Conservator and for the Appointment of a Successor Guardian and/or Conservator. The petition must show to the satisfaction of the court that:
(1) The guardian/conservator is unable to continue to serve due to age, illness, infirmity, or other good cause;
(2) Greater burdens have developed upon the office of guardian/conservator than those that were originally contemplated or should have been contemplated when the guardian/conservator was qualified and the additional burdens work a hardship upon the guardians/conservators;
(3) Disagreement exists between the ward and the guardian or between the guardian and the conservator in respect of the guardians care of the minor, which disagreement and conflict appear to be detrimental to the minor;
(4) The resignation of the guardian will result in or permit substantial financial benefit to the minor; or
(5) The resignation would not be disadvantageous to the minor.
The petition for resignation must also include the name of a suitable person who is willing to accept the guardianship.
If after a hearing as the court deems appropriate, the court is satisfied that the petition for resignation of the guardian and the appointment of the successor guardian should be granted, the court will enter an order appointing the successor guardian and accept the resignation.
How much does it cost to file a Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian and Conservator for an Adult?
Email the guardianship department at firstname.lastname@example.org for the exact filing fees. Payments may then be submitted by cash, money order, firm check or debit/credit card. All debit/credit card transactions will include a $4 service fee.