The personal right to make decisions about living one’s own life is taken for granted by most adults. Yet, inevitably, illness or disability may render some adults incapacitated during the course of their lives and thereby prevent them from making responsible decisions concerning their life or property.
Guardians & Wards
Guardianship is one means of substituting the judgment of another person for that of an incapacitated individual. Guardianship is a legal relationship created by a court when the Judge appoints someone (a Guardian) to make decisions for another person who has been proven to be incapacitated (a Ward).
Decision Making & Basic Rights
If less intrusive means are unavailable, a guardianship can be an appropriate device to provide for substituted decision-making on behalf of an incapacitated adult. Georgia law recognizes the dignity of all human persons by authorizing the removal of decision-making abilities only to the extent necessitated by the limitations of the ward. Guardians, accordingly, have special duties to the ward and to the court.
The ward retains all rights not removed and can petition the court to have his or her right to make decisions restored.
When the law and its spirit are followed, a guardianship can be a relationship which can help fulfill and educate the ward and the guardian as well.