Probate courts: guardianship and conservatorship appointments, P.1

Probate courts in Georgia have the ability to appoint and supervise guardians and conservators over both adult persons and minor persons. Adults who may need a guardian and/or conservator are those who are incapacitate because of physical or mental illness to the extent that they are unable to make reasonable decision regarding their person, money and property.

When a Georgia court appoints a conservator, they must be bonded for the value of all income and personal property, and must file an inventory of assets, an asset management plan and annual financial accountings. The latter are audited by the probate court. Guardians may also be required to post bond, and must file an annual report on the physical and mental status of the incapacitate adult.

If no conservator is appointed for a minor and one is required, probate courts will appoint and supervise one. A conservator may be required when a minor inherits money or personal property not in a trust or under the management of a testamentary conservator. A conservator may also be required when a minor receives an award of damages in a personal injury suit or is named as a beneficiary of a life insurance or retirement benefits policy. As with conservators of adults, conservators of adults must file an inventory of assets, an asset management plan and annual financial accountings. The court will audit these submissions.

In our next post, we'll continue looking at guardianships and conservatorships, as well as the importance of naming guardians for minors in your estate planning documents.

Source: Online:; Georgia Probate website; describes court process of appointing guardianships and conservatorships.

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