Petitions for the Appointment of a Guardian and Conservator of an Adult are filed in the proposed ward’s county of domicile or in the county where the proposed ward is found.
In Georgia, The Probate Court may grant guardianship of an adult who is found by the court to lack sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning his or her health or safety, and may grant conservatorship of an adult who is found by the court to lack sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning the management of his or her property.
Petitions may be filed once a proposed ward has turned 17½ years of age.
After your petition is filed, the court will serve the proposed ward, appoint an attorney for the proposed ward, schedule an evaluation by a court-appointed evaluator, and schedule a hearing. Additionally, the Court will notify the nearest adult relatives (including but not limited to parents, siblings, children) about the petition and the hearing.
The Probate Court will obtain a criminal history for all persons nominated to serve as either guardian or conservator.
Often conservators are required to post a bond prior to their appointment. A bond is an insurance policy to ensure that the ward’s funds are protected in the event that the appointed conservator mishandles the assets. The court will set the amount of the bond based on the value of the liquid assets of the ward. Insurance companies write bonds based on a credit check. We suggest that you start with your auto or homeowners insurance company and if they are not able to write surety bonds, you may request a list of insurance companies at the time your petition is filed.
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.
You are required to file annual reports with the Court and the Court reviews the reports to ensure that the guardian and/or conservator is being responsible and that the ward is safe and secure.
A guardianship of an adult ward ends automatically when the adult ward dies.
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. In the event a ward dies, a certificate of death or copy of an obituary should be filed with the Court.
If you have been serving as a guardian or conservator for an adult and no longer wish to serve, you may file a Petition for Resignation seeking the appointment of a successor.
In addition to the filing fee for the petition, the petitioner also pays for the court-appointed attorney (approximately $150) and evaluator (approximately $150).
If you have any further questions specific to a guardianship and/or conservatorship of an adult, please call (912) 652-7264 (Option 5)