If someone in your life has lost the ability to manage their finances, conservatorship might be the answer. A conservator is a person Georgia courts appoint to manage the assets of an individual when that person cannot do so themselves. This is often a relative but could be a friend or other trustworthy individual. Having a loyal attorney you can count on is an essential step in the custodial process.
If you believe someone close to you is incapable of handling their money, talk to a Sandy Springs uncontested conservatorship lawyer about legal options to protect their interests. Our firm is here to help.
The law gives adults considerable leeway to make their own decisions. Even if an individual chooses to spend their money unwisely, courts usually do not infringe upon their rights without good cause. However, sometimes, older adults start losing the capacity to keep up with their bills and make financial decisions that could endanger their well-being. This is when Georgia courts could step in to assign a conservator to preserve the individual’s best interests.
A conservator is similar to a guardian; however, a conservator’s duties are limited to handling the ward’s assets and debts. Other situations that might require a financial custodian could include a person who suffers a stroke or head injury, or someone who is developmentally disabled and is cognitively impaired.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 29-5-10 requires an individual to petition the court for an appointment to serve as conservator for a proposed ward. The petition must contain:
A Sandy Springs uncontested conservatorship attorney can help draft this petition. The ward might join the request if they can communicate their wishes and agree with the circumstances. If the ward does not join, at least one other interested person must do so. If no other family member joins the petition, the proposed conservator must include an affidavit from a physician, psychologist, or social worker stating their professional opinion on the need for a financial custodian.
If a financial custodian is successfully appointed following the request, Letters of Conservatorship will be sent to that individual, giving them the legal right to access the ward’s assets and pay their debts. In some cases, the ward must post a bond. A Sandy Springs uncontested conservatorship attorney could help arrange a bond, if necessary.
The conservator must make an initial report within 60 days of appointment, describing all the ward’s assets and liabilities, and how they propose to manage them. A report will also be sent to Georgia courts annually, accounting for the ward’s financial position and any transactions completed on their behalf. To the extent possible, the custodian should consult with the individual under their care, and consider their desires and values when making decisions.
It can be distressing when someone you care about loses the capacity to make their own financial decisions. Establishing a trustworthy financial custodian could protect your loved one and ensure their money will go towards their care and support.
A Sandy Springs uncontested conservatorship lawyer has experience navigating this process and can help a family that is unsure of the next steps to take. Schedule a free consultation today with a qualified team member.