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Need assistance establishing or terminating a conservatorship agreement in Georgia? Turn to a trusted conservatorship lawyer at The Law Office of Paul Black and get help now. 

Author: Paul Black

Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as  a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: January 18, 2022.

The Role of a Conservatorship Lawyer

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Few want to think about getting older, but for most people, it is an eventuality that requires a discussion with a conservatorship lawyer. Navigating conservatorship and guardianship in Georgia can be complicated with such highly emotional issues. If you feel that your loved one has exhibited poor judgment with increasing frequency, you might file a petition requesting conservatorship with court supervision. This process occurs through a series of court proceedings if the person in question fights against releasing control of their legal decisions and property.

These actions can be brutal for many people, as they question whether they are making the right decision for their loved ones. They may face animosity from the family or disputes over control. This legal area is particularly complex and requires sensitivity. When it’s time to begin the conservatorship process, you should contact a reputable estate attorney from the Law Office of Paul Black to petition the judge.

Why You May Need a Conservatorship Attorney in Atlanta

There are many reasons why you may need the services of a conservatorship attorney in Atlanta, GA. Suppose a person is or becomes mentally incapacitated. In that case, someone, generally a family member, will file for conservatorship in probate court and begin the legal conservatorship proceeding to gain control over their property and finances. They must provide evidence that there is a need due to the person’s inability to manage their own money.

If satisfactorily demonstrated, the Court appoints a family member or other person as a permanent or temporary conservator of the estate.

When a parent or adult child remains physically healthy but suffers a mental decline or full dementia, a conservator can be appointed to manage and oversee their ward’s assets. When the judge finds probable cause to determine that the proposed conservatee requires assistance, they will schedule a hearing. 

 

Additional Atlanta Conservatorship Information

An emergency conservator and guardian can be appointed in dire situations where someone is suddenly incapacitated. Otherwise, a conservatorship case will likely consist of family members with the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Serious mental illnesses

Conservatorships are often created to manage the financial affairs of developmentally disabled adults.

Occasionally, the conservator of the person may exhibit undue influence over the conservatee’s assets. To eliminate that possibility, the family may submit to the Court so they can be held accountable. A conservatorship attorney can be a vital asset in this pursuit of obtaining guardianship in GA & becoming a conservator.

 

Conservatorship Attorneys in Georgia 

One of the roles of conservatorship attorneys is to educate their clients about their rights and responsibilities in the probate process. A minimum of two petitioners are required to request the local probate court. Most people don’t know which GA probate forms and conservatorship documents are necessary for their situation.

An experienced estate law attorney can help with conservatorship proceedings to make them as stress-free as possible. However, most would encourage their clients to implement durable power of attorney documents as part of their estate plan to make an involuntary conservatorship unnecessary.

Since a conservator’s duties include overseeing the conservatee’s estate and personal matters, it is optimal to include these documents while the person still can do so. This ensures they control who will act as their conservator when the time comes.

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Georgia Conservatorship Law vs. Guardianship Law

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Conservatorship law and guardianship law are similar but separate. The responsibility of a conservator is to handle the legal and financial decisions, such as:

  • Creating a budget
  • Filing taxes
  • Handling liquid assets
  • Making and handling investments 
  • Paying bills and other debts

A guardian is a designated caregiver assigned legal responsibility. The role of a public guardian is more varied and involves making health care and medical decisions to ensure appropriate care is taken. Decisions involve the following elements:

  • Healthcare
  • Living arrangements, whether in-home or in nursing homes
  • Types of medical treatment
  • Welfare

If a person isn’t named a conservator or guardian in a will, or a will is absent, the Court will name one. An attorney experienced with estate laws offers support in these matters.

 

What Is Legal Conservatorship?

When preparing an estate plan, a person may wonder, “What is a legal conservatorship?” They may be under the impression that the tasks involved are automatically transferred to the next of kin. Depending on the familial circumstances, this can be a complicated matter.

Generally, the role of the conservator is assigned in this order:

  • The person named in the legal estate plan
  • The person’s spouse or adult child
  • A state-appointed guardian
  • A qualified volunteer
  • A county-appointed public guardian

There are many types of conservatorships with varying levels of responsibilities. These include the following:

  • General conservatorship
  • Limited conservatorship
  • LPS conservatorships
  • Temporary conservatorship

The GA Division of Aging Services provides conservatorship and guardianship information here.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Conservatorship in Georgia?

Whether you are in the process of appointing a conservator or guardian or are being assigned the role of one, you need a lawyer for conservatorship. Experienced elder law attorneys from the Law Office of Paul Black can help protect your rights.

When a conservator is appointed, they are legally bound to represent the ward’s interests. Therefore, when possible, the ward should be allowed to participate in making decisions that affect their lives. 

 

What Type of Lawyer Does Conservatorship?

Even those aware that they need a conservator to handle their or their family member’s monetary affairs may not know what type of lawyer does a conservatorship. In a perfect scenario, an estate planning attorney is consulted when the person is still of sound mind and capable of making important legal decisions for themselves. Then, after these matters are decided and documented, they become part of the estate plan. This eases the process and avoids straining relationships for the entire family. 

Whether you plan your estate in advance or wish to file for conservatorship with the Courts, having a knowledgeable attorney in your corner aids the process. If you are at the beginning of your conservatorship planning, our conservatorship Georgia & guardianship handbook can provide more information. To develop a good attorney-client relationship, contact the Law Office of Paul Black today.

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