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Understanding Adult Guardianships/Conservatorships in Cobb County

Posted by Steve Worrall | Aug 13, 2021

For those caring for elderly relatives in Cobb County, there may be relief knowing that the senior has a medical directive, power of attorney, and/or trust in case he or she becomes incapacitated. However, it's also possible that there is no guiding documentation to help when the relative is unable to make decisions on his or her own behalf. In Georgia, adult guardianships and conservatorships may be the only way to ensure your relative is cared for in later years.

Who needs a Guardianship or Conservatorship in Cobb County?

Spouses can make decisions for each other. A well spouse will make medical and financial decisions for an incapacitated spouse. However, if the incapacitated adult isn't married or is married to another incapacitated adult, then that adult may need a guardian.

Adults who can no longer make sound decisions for themselves when it comes to finances and health are generally good candidates for receiving a guardianship or conservatorship . There may be medical signs that an adult needs a conservator, such as the presence of an illness that impairs decision-making ability like Alzheimer's disease, strokes, or developmental disability. Other signs that an adult needs a Guardianship or Conservatorship  may include inability to pay bills, keep track of money, or communicate effectively with health professionals.

Incapacitated adults who don't have family nearby may find that hiring a professional conservator is much more preferable than uprooting the incapacitated adult. Even if family is nearby, taking care of the financial and legal needs of another adult takes a lot of time and energy, so hiring someone to do the work can bring peace of mind.

Who can be a Guardian or Conservator of an adult?

Technically, any fit adult could be an adult guardian or conservator, but they're usually family members or professional guardians, like attorneys. An attorney working as a guardian is also known as a law guardian or a guardian ad litem, and they specifically work for the best interests of the incapacitated adult.

Do I have to go to court?

Obtaining a Guardianship or Conservatorship  in Cobb County is a process that must go through the courts. A Cobb County judge will grant a Guardianship or Conservatorship  if an adult can't make decisions for him or herself and if the adult hadn't previously named a power of attorney, healthcare agent, and/or trustee. Anyone who wishes to be a guardian or conservator must file with the court. From there, a judge will allow or deny it.

What do I do to become someone's Guardian or Conservator in Cobb County?

While you can do this yourself, navigating the court system and keeping abreast of the case may prove to be too much, especially if anyone contests your bid for guardianship or conservatorship. A Cobb County elder law attorney can help you understand what is required from you and if this is the action you want to take. If so, an elder law attorney can help you with every step of the process along the way.  If you'd like to discuss your options and your best path forward, please feel free to call our office at 770-425-6060 to set up a consultation.

About the Author

Steve Worrall

As a sandwich generation kid himself (caring for both children and aging parents), Marietta Georgia Estate Planning Elder Law & Probate Attorney Steve (Stephen M.) Worrall KNOWS the struggles you are facing as you raise children, balance the demands of your job, and take care of your aging parent...