In the majority of situations, people who have reached the age of legal adulthood are presumed to be capable of making their own decisions. In the event an adult becomes mentally incapable of making decisions in their own best interest, either a Guardian, Conservator, or both step in to handle their affairs. If that’s the case, it is critical that the difference between the two is clearly understood.
In Georgia, a guardian is appointed for an adult when the court finds the adult lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning his or her health or safety. Guardianship is a binding legal relationship between a guardian and the ailing adult in question, the Ward, when they are no longer able to manage their own affairs. The Guardian can make all decisions regarding the health and safety of the ward including but not limited to consents for medical and other professional care, counsel, and treatment and decisions necessary to provide for adequate support, care education, health and welfare of the ward. In certain situations, the Guardian may need to seek court approval for some of those decisions.
A Conservator, on the other hand, is typically assigned to handle financial decisions only. The Conservator is entrusted with the responsibility to exercise ordinary diligence and care when dealing with the Ward’s property and finances after approval of the Court. Additionally, the Conservator could be held legally liable for any losses that occur from a lack of ordinary diligence or possibly from a mishandling of the Ward’s funds.
Being assigned to the role of Guardian, or the role of Conservator, is a major event – for the appointee and for the Ward. If you or someone you love is in either of these challenging positions, call Grissom Law, LLC. We can help you navigate this decision with ease and in the best interest of both parties. Guardianship and Conservatorship is best managed with expert legal help and in some instances may be avoided with appropriate planning.
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