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Guardianships

Guardianships

Adult Guardianships and Conservatorships are complex proceedings and require a court-ordered evaluation and at least one formal hearing.  Per GA law, an attorney must represent any proposed adult ward. Due to the complicated nature of these filings, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney for sound legal advice concerning filing a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship. You may download the Handbook For Guardians and Conservators for more information.  

Guardianship of Incapacitated Adults

This guardianship proceeding is filed when it is believed that an individual lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning their health or safety and needs a guardian. If you don’t feel that it can be proved by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed ward meets that standard, you should not file a petition for guardianship. A petition for guardianship is usually initiated by the next of kin. A guardian may be appointed to care for personal needs. A conservator may be needed to help make financial decisions and take care of financial issues. The individual may need both a guardian and a conservator. You can obtain standardized forms for this proceeding in the probate court and online at www.gaprobate.gov at the Georgia Probate Court Online System.

Under certain circumstances, a petitioner may file for an emergency guardianship/conservatorship. The Petitioner must present sufficient facts to support the claim for the appointment of an emergency guardian and/or conservator.

Guardians of Minors

Permanent guardianship may be needed for a minor with no natural or testamentary guardian. Parents are the natural guardians of their children. Guardianships of minors may be necessary due to the death or disability of a parent. Often a temporary guardianship of a minor child will be granted so that the child lives with a relative or family friend for a period of time. Most temporary guardianships are granted with parental consent.

Conservatorship of Minors

Another guardianship proceeding, the Petition for Conservatorship of a minor, is filed in probate court. Such a case is filed when a minor receives property valued at more than $15,000.00.

Annual Returns and Status Reports

These reports are filed by the guardians and conservators of both minors and incapacitated adults. Most reports are filed annually. Forms for filing petitions, annual returns, and status reports are available in the probate court and online at www.gaprobate.org at the Georgia Probate Court Online System.

Click here to download the Personal Status Report

Guardianship/Conservatorship Fees

The Filing fee, Evaluation Fee, Attorney Fee, and Sheriff’s Service Fee are required at the time of filing (O.C.G.A. 15-9-60).

  •  Filing and recording fee
    • $150.00 adult
    • $95.00 Minor
  • Attorney Fee
    • $150.00
    • Must be a separate check made payable to the appointed Attorney or Firm
  • Sheriff’s service fee
    • $50.00
    • Payable to the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office
    • It does not apply if a special process server is used.
  •  Court Ordered Evaluation fee –
    • $150.00 – $300.00 depending upon travel, if any.
    • Paid at the time of the mandatory Court-Ordered evaluation.
    • Paid directly to the evaluator.
  • Additional fees will apply if supplemental motions, caveats, or amendments are made or a Guardian ad Litem must be appointed. Additional recording fees may apply.
  • If Real Estate is involved, a filing fee must be paid to the Clerk of Superior Court for recording when the guardianship/conservatorship is granted
    • $25.00