Qualifications and the Medical Examination
Who can apply to be somebody’s guardian? The law says that any interested person can apply to the probate court for guardianship or conservatorship. Any interested person. That’s pretty much anybody. There is a hierarchy who the preferred people are and adult children of the ward are number one, parents are number two, and I’m assuming that your children don’t have any adult children. So that leaves you at the top of the list. Siblings and spouses are actually the preferred guardians. And than there is a list of hierarchy, friends, and than the last, the final one is the department of family and children’s services. It is very rare for it to get there, but it can get there. If there is nobody else and somebody needs to act as this persons guardian, and if there is nobody else who can be identified, who is able or willing to do it, than the department of family and children’s services becomes the guardian. The earliest a petition can be filed is within six months of turning age eighteen. The six month point prior to the eighteenth birthday is the earliest you can file. There is no cut off age, after that point you can file anytime. If you have a child who is twenty or twenty-one and you haven’t done this yet, but you think you need to, you can do it, there is no cutoff age. The petition is available online, at GAprobate.org, it is form number twelve, I encourage parents, if they are going to do this themselves, download the PDF and handwrite, if you don’t do the handwritten form, there will be another certificate that you have to file. And they don’t tell you about it. If you do the hand written you will be fine. Once filed, when they actually file those papers with the court, the sheriff will send a deputy out to wherever your child is and serve them with the papers. It seems rather odd, however, this is so that nobody is doing anything behind somebody’s back,. It makes sense when that is done. They don’t have to take the papers, they just have to be served the papers and if you know anything about serving anything, you don’t have to voluntarily accept it somebody will just submit a statement to the court a sworn affidavit that says I personally delivered the papers to them. If you don’t read it that’s your problem, the court just wants to make sure that you received them and you had the opportunity.
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