Guardianship Info and Georgia Forms

PRINT FORMS  See Guardianship Sample above and download.
 
1.  Print Guardianship Form for all Georgia with single or dual instructions below. 

or:  www.GAprobate.gov  / standard forms /  option 12 guardianship form. You can fill in PDF form online or print and fill in. First couple pages are instructions and the last 30 some pages are not needed. You might have to open the document in Preview Mode to print.

If single person guardianship,  print pages 3 -18 (form pages 1-16). You will need a physician to sign for guardianship. 

If dual guardianship, print pages 3-16 (form pages 1-14) and page 16 two times (page 14 CONSENT TO SERVE AS GUARDIAN/CONSERVATOR for both persons to sign). 

2.  Print   Adult Guardianship Questionnaire Form
(This lets them know if a translator, transportation or handicap access is needed.)

3.  Print   Background Check Form 
Print 2 if 2 guardians – set printer to “fit on page” or 75% otherwise it will print too large for page. Each copy needs to be notarized.

FEES:

At the time you submit the forms you pay $535 (as of 3/2016) or apply for the Paupers Discount. Pauper Poverty Guideline includes the current poverty guidelines even though it says 2013. This determines if you get the guardianship and conservatorship for free.  

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.

Prior to mailing in or filing your petition in our office, please contact the estate clerk at (770) 822-8350 for the current filing fees.

NOTARIZING:

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.

LOCATION and TIMES: 

The Probate Court is located on the main floor of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center (click for directions). The office accepts filings in person on Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call ahead to see if COVID changes have been made. 

Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center
75 Langley Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
770-822-8350

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.

FREE HELP:

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

Other legal resources: The Council cannot give legal advice or guidance.  Should you need legal advice, please contact an attorney or:

Georgia Legal Aid (find an attorney by county)
http://www.georgialegalaid.org/
Georgia Legal Services Program
1-800-498-9469
http://www.glsp.org/get-help-now/
LawHelp.org (information and forms)
http://www.lawhelp.org/

YEARLY UPDATE:

Guardianship – They will provide you with a yearly update form and an envelope one time. 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 yearly use and save address. The first time you will have to fill in this form and mail it to them within 6 months but do it ASAP. Complete yearly within 60 days of the date of the guardianship acceptance (usually around birthday). Put on calendar to do. 
Yearly Guardianship Personal Status Report Form 

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 you do 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.  
Renewal Conservatorship Form and  Annual Return

NOTES: 

“Ward” is the person needing guardianship, usually your child. 

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 right to vote.

Moving – 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. Moving out of state may incur another guardianship fee and legal process depending on state. Some transfer others do not.

“File a Motion to Move the Ward (person in need of guardian) out of State.  We would appoint a guardian ad litem to review the Motion.  Can also request the transfer at the same time.  We would recommend filing Motion at least 3 months before the move.” Sincerely, Gwinnett County Probate Court.

If both states have adopted UAGPPJA (Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act), the process should be simplified and just require procedural paperwork. https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/blog/transferring-guardianship-between-states/

SHOULD – BUT even though Texas and Missouri and Georgia are UAGPPJA from personal experience they required the previous state to end the guardianship and pay in the new state and new process including court hearing to receive a new guardianship. Even when a call to the new state said it could be transferred. Make sure to allow at least 3 months or more to do this process.

Letter from Missouri Attorney:  In Missouri, you will need to request to be appointed as Guardian under Missouri law. Guardianships can’t be transferred state to state without having to have some sort of hearing in the “new” state. Include in your petition that you are already appointed as his Guardian under Georgia law. You can’t start the process until you’ve officially moved to Missouri. You can, however, begin collecting the paperwork and information necessary to draft the petition before it is filed with the Court. You’ll especially want to request a copy of the Guardianship paperwork that is on file with the Court in Georgia to supplement your petition for Missouri.

Do: Keep the ward’s checking and savings account
(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 SSI information below. The bank may want a copy of the SSI final letter and a copy of guardianship if you get one. This will set up a custodial checking/savings account. Remember max $2000 combined is allowed to still receive services. Set up an auto withdrawal monthly to pay for “rent, room and utilities” and have it deposited into the providers (parents) account. 

SSI application interview did not suggest having 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.

Mail option must be signed, verified, and have the appropriate filing fees. Pleadings without fees will be returned without filing. Mail all pleadings to:

  Gwinnett County Probate Court
Estate Division
75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Information from personal experience, sites noted and https://www.gwinnettcourts.com/probate/Guardianship-and-Conservatorship-of-an-Adult.

Not responsible for any information given. Information used under free will and no legal action can be taken on the author.

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