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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 conservatorship lawyers. 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.
Georgia Conservatorship Law vs. Guardianship Law
Conservatorship laws and guardianship laws 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:
- Living arrangements, whether in-home or in nursing homes
- Types of medical treatment
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
Although most states prefer the conservatee’s spouse, registered domestic partner, adult children or siblings, and other blood relatives, the judge may pick another person if he or she thinks someone else would be best suited for that job.
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.
What Happens After Filing a Conservatorship Petition?
At the beginning of the court process of conservatorship, a person who wishes to be named conservator has to file a petition seeking conservatorship of the alleged incapacitated person. The initial filing fee has to be paid when filing the petition. If only one individual files the petition, they have to include an affidavit completed by an appropriate professional such as a psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker.
After filing, the court investigator may be assigned to investigate interested parties. The conservator may also be required to post a conservatorship bond, a type of bond required for the protection of the conservatee’s estate.
A conservatorship can be a complicated and time-consuming legal proceeding. The court may require a hearing on your petition. In addition, the paperwork can be complex to handle since it requires keeping detailed records. The assistance of a skilled lawyer may be necessary to successfully handle different legal issues.