Guardianship & Conservatorship

Guardianship & Conservatorship in Georgia

A common and unfortunate aspect of aging is a decline in cognitive capacity. This can be mild and gradual or severe and sudden. Many of our clients are grappling with this personally or struggling with caring for a loved one experiencing cognitive decline. Sometimes guardianship is necessary to protect that person.

Guardianship is the process whereby a probate court appoints an individual as the formal legal decision maker for another person. Conservatorship refers to the same process generally but a conservator makes decisions regarding a person’s money and property whereas a guardian makes decisions about their health and well-being.

It is important to remember that having a guardian or conservator appointed removes a person’s right to make decisions for themselves. For this reason, there are procedural safeguards in place to make sure that person is no longer competent to make their own decisions before a guardian is appointed.

The process starts by filing a petition with the probate court where the person who needs a guardian lives or is found. The process takes 8-10 weeks and includes a cognitive evaluation, an attorney appointed for the person, and a hearing.