man and woman's hands working on documentsTestamentary Guardianship – A parent, in his or her Last Will and Testament, may elect to nominate a testamentary guardian for a minor child or children. In this instance, upon the probate of the deceased parent’s will, provided there is no other living parent, the nominated person will receive Letters of Testamentary Guardianship. A testamentary guardian holds the same powers as a permanent guardian appointed by the Court.

In which county do I file my petition to receive Letters of Testamentary Guardianship?

A request for the appointment of a Testamentary Guardian is included in a Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form, which must be filed in the probate court of the county where the deceased was domiciled at the time of his or her death. If the deceased was not a resident of the State of Georgia, a Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form may be filed in any county where the deceased owned property. Please refer to the estates tab for more information regarding probating a Will.

When does a Testamentary Guardianship Terminate?

A Testamentary Guardianship of a minor terminates on the date upon which the earliest of the following occurs:

  • The minor reaches 18;
  • The minor is adopted;
  • The minor becomes emancipated;
  • The minor dies; or
  • A court order terminating the guardianship is entered.