In our previous post, we began discussing the power of probate courts in Georgia to appoint guardians and conservators to care for the person, income and property of individuals in need of such care. We left off discussing conservatorships for minors.
Probate courts also have the power, in certain circumstances to appoint and supervise guardians for minors. The appointment may be temporary or permanent. A permanent guardian may be appointed when the minor has no living parents or if the parents do not object to an appointment after failing to properly care for the minor. One important thing to realize is that permanent guardianship is not the same thing as legal custody.
A probate court may grant temporary guardianship of a minor in certain circumstances and with certain requirements. As with all probate matters, there is a particular procedure which must be followed closely and an attorney can be helpful for most.
One important thing to take from this discussion is the importance of couples appointing a guardian for their children in their estate plan. If you don't select a guardian for your children, a court will do it for you. Conscientious couples want to make sure their children are care for by those that share their vision and values.
Many couples choose to do this in their wills. For some couples, the inability to agree on a selection may results in putting it off indefinitely. There are a number of important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a guardian. In our next post, we'll take a look at some of these things.
Source: Online: http://www.gaprobate.org/guardianship.php; Georgia Probate website; describes court process of appointing guardianships and conservatorships.