When you think of obtaining guardianship for someone, your first thoughts probably go to an aging parent or a child with special needs. There are cases, however, where a fully capable loved one may become incapacitated due to an accident, leaving you to apply for guardianship. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, can leave someone with severe brain damage and unable to make financial decisions for themselves.
We understand how the laws in Georgia apply to people with special needs and guardianship. We have helped many of our clients with their cases regarding these topics.
What can a guardian do in a legal sense?
According to FindLaw, a guardian can make legal decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. This includes making medical and financial decisions, along with assuming responsibility for your loved one’s care and quality of life.
This can be a difficult situation during the aftermath of a catastrophic accident. Adjusting to life with a new version of your loved one is hard enough, let alone having the courts make a decision regarding guardianship. For this reason, everyone should have an updated will or trust to specify who they would like appointed as guardian in case of an accident.
How is a guardian chosen?
If your loved one can make their wishes known, the court will honor his or her request. If your loved one cannot make their wishes known, however, the court will look at existing estate documents such as a will or a durable power of attorney. If those things have not been set up, the court will select a close family member. More information about this topic is available on our webpage.