Any number of situations may arise in life that render a person incapable of making his or her own decisions about financial concerns and other important matters. From terminal illness to sudden incapacitation resulting from injuries in a motor vehicle collision or other type of accident, a court appointed guardian may be needed when an individual can no longer act on his or her own behalf. Many times, an adult child or other family member petitions a Georgia probate court to name a conservator or guardian.
This is a serious matter as doing so may result in a parent or other loved one losing his or her legal rights. If the court appoints a guardian, a person may no longer be able to make decisions regarding whether to marry, what type of medical care should or should not be given or whether to move to buy or sell property. Sometimes, petitions for guardianship are opposed by one or more parties.
There are many legal requirements that must be fulfilled in order for the court to accept a petition to act as a legal guardian or conservator. In fact, some judges insist that a person filing such a petition retain legal representation before doing so even though it is not required by law. It is not always family members who petition the court for legal guardianship; in some circumstances, social workers, physicians or psychologists may do so.
If a Georgia court schedules a hearing regarding a petition for legal guardianship, the proposed ward has a right to attend the hearing. If opposition is filed regarding a possible court appointed guardian situation, relationships of those involved may become contentious. The stress of such situations may be greatly alleviated by relying on experienced guidance and support from a long-term care attorney.