See www.GAprobate.gov for standard forms and choose option 12 guardianship form. You can fill in PDF form online or print and fill in.
More direct option – click on this link for guardianship form: http://gaprobate.gov/sites/default/files/probate/fillable_pdf_forms/july_2017/Form%2012%20Final%202017%20-%206-30-17.pdf
Print out pages 3-16 (1-14 form page number). First couple pages are instructions and the last 30 some pages are not needed.
If single person guardianship, also print pages 17 & 18 (form page 15 & 16 AFFIDAVIT OF PHYSICIAN, PSYCHOLOGIST, OR CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER FOR GUARDIANSHIP AND/OR CONSERVATORSHIP). If dual guardianship, print page 14 two times (CONSENT TO SERVE AS GUARDIAN/CONSERVATOR) for both persons to sign. You might have to open the document in Preview Mode to print.
Below are required guardianship forms that are not on the GA Probate website. Print, notarize and sign as directed:
Print: Questionare for Both Parties to Sign
Sign Questionaire Form
Print: Background Check – Needs Notarizing by both parties – Print 2 if 2 people – set printer to “fit on page” or 75% otherwise it will print too large.
Background Check Form
At the time you submit the forms you pay $535 (as of 3/16) or apply for the Paupers Discount. The link below includes the current poverty guidelines even though it says 2013. This determines if you get the guardianship and conservatorship for free.
Click on: Pauper Poverty Guideline
Paying by cash/check has no additional fees. Credit cards are accepted except AMEX and there is an additional fee of $13.50 to process.
The Probate Court will notarize for free but make sure both parties asking for guardianship are present with ID (if 2 parties). Your church or bank may also notarize for free. Where there are 2 signatures – 2 notary stamps and dates and seals are needed even though it is on the same page.
3rd Thursday of the Month 1:30-4:30 – Free Pro bono lawyer service. Make RSVP appointment on the 3rd Thursday one month prior early in morning. It fills up fast. You can do this months prior to submitting or before 18th birthday. The lawyer can answer any questions and may also be able to notarize. The form packet is provided if you do not want to print beforehand. However, I advise you to complete to your best ability prior to attending and let them review for mistakes and add suggestions. You do not need your IEP and other docs at this time. The application is filed in the same building and can be done on the same day months in advance. 770-822-8350
Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center
75 Langley Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
“Ward” is the person needing guardianship.
Guardianship limits the persons rights. They may not be able to marry or vote, etc. I believe they can write a will. It depends on the judge and the final determination. Corey was given rights to vote.
Guardianship is a relationship with the courts. If you want to move out of state, you have to get permission prior to move from the court. Suggested 2 months in advance or at the time of yearly filing.
After guardianship is accepted they will provide you with the yearly update form and an envelope. Make it easy for future use by filling out items that will not change year to year and make copies to save in a folder for later use. The first time you will have to fill in this form and mail it to them within 6 months but do it ASAP so not to forget to do it. And again on the year followup.
Conservatorship is governing their money other than SSI money. This also has yearly fees and form filing. Conservatorship is for large amounts of money or property other than SSI money. When we went to the judge, he had us file for conservatorship but not process it completely. On the forms where it says conservatorship add “put on file”. This way it is on file for future use and we did not have to pay for the whole process to be done again ($535). The judge said circumstances such as a car accident payout would require conservatorship.
[Incorrect info from pro bono lawyer – close Corey’s small checking and savings accounts and manage money in my account. Thereby not needing a conservatorship. It becomes my money not his. But I can give it to him as I like in cash. See Note following… (Do: Keep the ward’s checking account)]
NOTE: In our SSI application interview it was not suggested to have a separate checking account for Corey’s SSI check to be deposited. But when our first review occurred we found out Corey did need a separate custodial checking account for SSI deposits so that when SSI did the automatic electronic reviews they found less than $2000 in the account. If it goes into the parent account upon review there could be more than $2000 and SSI is lost automatically. Then you have to reapply again. Also you do not need a conservatorship for this custodial checking account.
My friend who received the pauper discount was given the conservatorship for free as well as the guardianship.
When you enter the building you will be security checked. Make sure you do not take in anything questionable. For the pro bono you will exit the security line and go to the right then right again into an open room. Sign in and be seated for your turn. I brought Corey with me but it was not needed. For the probate court, you turn left after leaving the security checkpoint and go through the doors to the end of the hall on the left. You will see a sign on the door for Probate Court.