Alternatives to Guardianship
Now, there are alternatives to guardianship. Guardianship should not be the first thing you think of when if comes to “How are we going to manage decision making for this individual?” There are things called Powers of Attorney Power’s of Attorney are helpful but in Georgia they are not absolute. In order to do powers of Attorney, however, you must be over the age of eighteen, because you have to have the ability to enter into a contract, you do not have that ability under the age of eighteen. So, you have to be over the age of eighteen, you must have “capacity” this is one of the big grey areas, you have to understand what you are doing to enter into these agreements. It must be an independent choice. This is another grey area because who actually makes independent choices? We all are influenced by other people; hopefully you will be influenced by what I have to say today and be motivated to do something and take action, but the way I usually view independent choice is are you able to resist the influence of others? If you’re able to resist the influence of others than chances are you’re more likely making an independent choice versus if you always do what somebody tells you to do or if mom and dad put it in front of the child and said “sign here” and they’ll do it without even knowing what it is, than chances are they are not making an independent choice. I wrote “It must be in writing”, it doesn’t have to be in writing, but it should be in writing. The only way you’re going to be able to show other people that you have power of Attorney is by presenting a written document, that’s why it must be in writing. It may need to be notarized. Certain powers must be notarized, must of the types of powers we’re talking about regarding your children don’t need to be notarized because hopefully they don’t own any real estate, they don’t own any property of significant value, but if they do happen to own real estate if they do happen to own significant property than their powers of attorney may need to be notarized. The healthcare power, the Advanced Directive for Healthcare, does not need to be notarized. The legislature tried to make that document as user-friendly as possible and therefore, all it needs is two witnesses and the two witnesses, the document even explains what the witnesses should be like. They shouldn’t be related, they shouldn’t be the ones being granted the powers, things like that.
Nadler Biernath LLC assists clients in the Atlanta, Georgia area and throughout Georgia including Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Buckhead, Johns Creek, Duluth, East Cobb and Dunwoody.