Conservatorship: Problems can arise if family members disagree

If mental or physical incapacitation prevents a Georgia adult from being able to speak or act on his or her own behalf, the court may issue a ruling that designates another person to do it. Conservatorship allows a court-appointed person to manage financial or other daily life affairs for an aging parent, other loved one or even a non-family member. This can sometimes spark contention if the person over whom a conservatorship has been granted does not think he or she needs it.

A former actress who is best known for her role as Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek reportedly had a confrontation with her son a while back after a judge appointed him her legal conservator. Nichelle Nichols is said to suffer from dementia although a movie producer who is also her friend adamantly claims otherwise. The friend also stated that there are problems in the mother/son relationship in this case.

Nichols' friend objected to the petition the former Star Trek actress's son filed in court. She stated that she believes her friend's son only wanted conservatorship so he would have access to the assets of his mother's estate. The man who served as Nichols' manager for more than 10 years apparently agrees with these statements and is taking legal steps to try to remove her son as conservator.

If someone petitions the court for conservatorship in Georgia or any other state, he or she must be able to justify the request with evidence of need. If a person has dementia, a licensed neurologist would be able to diagnose the condition. The court is not likely to rule in favor of a petition if the person filing the request cannot convince the judge in question that a conservator is needed.

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