Proceedings for the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator for a minor or an incapacitated adult are among the most important and difficult cases tried in Probate Court. These cases are handled by the Probate Court of Columbia County in accordance with the degree of importance given them under law. Counsel involved in guardianship and/or conservatorship matters in the Probate Court of Columbia County will be expected by the Court to prepare and handle the matter accordingly.
The Georgia Council of Probate Court Judges has produced two videos concerning guardianship matters, one applicable to guardianships and conservatorship of adults and one applicable to conservatorship of minors. We strongly suggest that all guardians and conservators of adults and all conservators of minors view the training videos.
In adult guardianship/conservatorship cases, the Court issues a Standing Order. Attorneys and all persons representing themselves are required to comply with the provisions of the Standing Order. As set forth in the Standing Order, the Court requires that a criminal background check be performed on every person who is nominated or appointed as a guardian or conservator. Every person seeking appointment as a Conservator must complete and file with the Court a Qualifications Questionnaire.
Guardians and Conservators appointed by this court are strictly monitored in accordance with Georgia law and are required to use the reporting forms provided by this court. Conservators are required to use the reporting forms provided by this court. Conservators are required to fully itemize all income and expenditures on returns/accounting filed with the court and are expected by the court to maintain full, accurate and complete records, to maintain all bank statements and canceled checks, and to retain all invoices, vouchers, bills, statements and other documents in support of all transactions at least until the return for which those records apply has been accepted, approved and recorded by the court. It is recommended that all such records be maintained for a period not less than three years, and it may be advisable to maintain all records until the conservator is fully discharged from office and all liability.