Individuals who become disabled or incapacitated by virtue of age, infirmity or severe injury rely heavily on spouses and family members to assist them on a daily basis. It is always best to have those plans made in advance of the incapacity, but that is not always possible.
There are several ways to plan for incapacity. One should always execute the proper estate planning documents which include a 1) a will or will substitute, 2) a power of attorney for finances, and 3) an advanced directive for health care or a living will. These documents provide for one to name a person to assist with financial or health care matters (including end of life care) prior to being incapacitated. The Law Offices of Scholle Law, has nearly two decades of experience in helping Georgia families plan for the future, whatever that may hold.Guardianship and Conservatorship
One should also make sure that his or her wills are updated and any estate tax planning has been addressed. However, in the absence of proper estate planning documents, or if the estate planning documents are insufficient, then a guardianship or conservatorship may need to be sought from the county probate court. A guardianship entails the appointment of a guardian by the probate court to make decisions for an adult who has lost sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning his or her health or safety. The power of a guardian over the over the “ward” (incapacitated person) is similar to that of a parent over his child, but is constrained to the extent of the ward’s actual limitations and to insure the dignity and individual rights of the ward.
Where a “guardianship” pertains to the ward’s health and daily physical needs, a “conservatorship” is concerned with an incapacitated adult or child’s finances. Prior to July 1, 2005, a conservatorship was known as “Guardianship of Property” in Georgia. It is the same principle as with guardianship except the adult has lost sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning “the management of his or her property”.
Long-term care insurance is another possible option for adults seeking to plan for their future disability. The appropriateness of any of these documents or procedures depends on one’s individual case.Conservatorships for Children and Structured Settlement
Children are entitled to significant awards for personal injury, wrongful death of a parent or similar monetary remuneration are required to obtain a conservator to monitor these funds until they are eighteen (18) years of age. An alternative to a conservatorship is a structured settlement, in which a claim award is placed in a safe, interest-bearing account until the child reaches the age of majority.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION ON ADULT GUARDIANSHIP AND DISABILITY REPRESENTATION in Atlanta to 770-717-5100 or Toll Free to 866-972-5287.
Altanta metro area’s elder law expert Charles Scholle can help you and your family sort through the best way to handle conservatorships, guardianships, structured settlements or disability planning. For nearly two decades, he has represented Georgia individuals and families seeking to plan for disability or incapacity so that their loved ones are not left guessing about their wishes. He also assists those who have experienced sudden disability or incapacity who were not able to plan in advance. If you would like to discuss conservatorships, guardianships or disability planning, please contact Charles Scholle for a free consultation.
To learn more about your rights and your options, please contact Scholle Law online or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100. We also represent the victims of elder abuse and nursing home abuse.
From a main office in Gwinnett County, we represent clients throughout Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.