When a parent or another adult in Georgia begins to lack the capacity to care for or make decisions for himself or herself, that individual’s loved ones may need to take steps to protect the party in question. A guardianship is one option for an adult who lacks capacity, but guardianship may have a sizable impact on an adult’s rights.
Per the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, the relationship a guardianship establishes between the ward or the party needing care, and the guardian is similar to that between a parent and a child.
What rights the ward loses in a guardianship
Once a guardianship takes shape, the ward may no longer marry. He or she is also no longer able to agree to medical treatments or move. Furthermore, guardianship removes the ward’s ability to make, change, or terminate contracts or revoke a revocable trust he or she already established. The ward also becomes unable to bring about or defend any legal actions in court unless it directly relates to the guardianship.
What rights the ward maintains in a guardianship
The ward has a right to a qualified guardian who acts in his or her interests. The guardian must also be easily accessible to the ward, and the ward also maintains the right to bring a legal action against the guardian if the matter relates directly to the guardianship. Should the ward regain capacity, he or she also maintains the right to eliminate the guardianship as soon as possible.
Because guardianships do strip away rights, establishing one requires careful consideration. However, in some cases, establishing a guardianship may be the most effective way to protect and advocate for your loved one.