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June 2019

Many families come to Hurley Elder Care Law to seek guardianship over a loved one.  Our attorney, Danielle Humphrey, is one of Atlanta’s premier experts in handling guardianship and conservatorship issues. She works as a dedicated advocate for the proposed guardian; and when she files for guardianship, she ensures it’s absolutely necessary for the proposed ward.
 
Basics of Guardianship
A guardian is a legal relationship wherein a court appoints a person (guardian) to make certain decisions regarding health care and domicile for another person (the ward) when that person lacks capacity to make decisions for him/her self, or is a danger to self or others.
 
A conservator is similar to a guardian, but pertains to the ward’s financial and property matters. A conservator is a legal relationship wherein a court appoints a person (conservator) to make certain decisions regarding finances and property matters for another person (the ward) when that person lacks capacity to make decisions for him/her self, or is a danger to self or others.
 
A guardianship/conservatorship may be needed for someone who is in a coma, has advanced dementia, or has had a major stroke or brain injury that has rendered them incapable of making sound decisions about health care, money, living situation, or other personal matters. 
 
Guardianship Should Be the Option of Last Resort
Although a necessary part of the elder law world, the decision to pursue guardianship should not be taken lightly. The appointment of a guardianship removes some of the ward’s rights. Additionally, the process requires families to confront a loved one about their capacity and behaviors in a public court. It’s also worth noting that the process is expensive and time-consuming. To read more about the cons of guardianships, read our blog on the topic. 
 
Plan Ahead to Avoid Guardianship
Whenever possible, guardianships should be avoided. Our attorney, Danielle Humphrey, is committed to making sure that no stone is left unturned when assessing whether or not to file for guardianship. The most effective way to avoid guardianship is to plan ahead. 
 
We cannot stress this enough; it is important to create and communicate a plan for incapacity. 
 
Our futures are uncertain. There is no guarantee that we will be of sound mind up until the day we die. And if one day we are alive but unable to handle our healthcare and financial affairs, what has been done to allow someone else to step in? More specifically, have we completed an advance directive and power of attorney.
 
Create an Advance Directive
An advance directive is a form used to communicate your choices about medical care. It allows you to name someone to make medical choices on your behalf if you are ever unable or unwilling to make your own decisions. It is called an advance directive because it is signed in advance (or before an illness or incapacity). Completing and signing an advance directive can often eliminate the need for a guardianship as a healthcare agent who has already been appointed in the event of incapacity and the healthcare wishes have been communicated ahead of time. The healthcare agent can begin acting in their role, often leaving no need for a guardian. The Georgia Advance Directive is a free form that can be completed without an attorney; it can be downloaded here.
 
Execute a Power of Attorney
For financial issues, a power of attorney allows you to name someone to act on your behalf for all money matters. Should you lose the ability to handle your own affairs, this person could pay your bills, buy/sell property, file your taxes, apply for public benefits, manage your assets, etc.  If you do not put some plans in place to allow someone else to access your money should you lose capacity, a conservatorship may be the only option. We have worked with many families that were forced to turn to conservatorship because they did not spend the time or money to put a plan in place. You can learn more about the power of attorney by clicking here. 
 
The experienced elder law attorneys at Hurley Elder Care Law are committed to making sure each situation is fully assessed and that the least severe solutions are applied. If you need personalized legal advice about guardianships in Georgia, please call our office at (404) 843-0121 or email us at info@hurleyeclaw.com
 
Click here to learn more about guardianships.  

 

Community Presentations
 Free and Open to the Public

You Don't Know What You Don't Know: The Importance of Being Educated Prior to a Crisis
The options for paying for long-term care are limited. Did you know that Medicare will not pay for home care or assisted living community care? Do you know what Medicaid provides? Most families do not realize their limited options until they are in a crisis—usually when their loved one is about to be discharged from a hospital. Making decisions while in a crisis can be stressful and result in bad choices. This seminar is intended to provide information prior to a crisis. Learn how to best find, get and pay for good long-term care. 


For more details and a complete list of upcoming events, please visit Hurley Elder Care Law Community Education.
 

Help is closer than you think…Watch this video, where we discuss how we can provide solutions for families and individuals as they address the complex process of growing older.

Family Business

The two fathers of Hurley Elder Care Law will both be spending this Father's Day enjoying nature. Paul will be taking his eldest son, Evan (11) to Camp Buck Toms (Boy Scout Camp) for some father-son bonding in the Great Smoky Mountains. Meanwhile, Miles will be in New Hampshire continuing his section hike of the Appalachian Trail. After the upcoming trip, he will have completed over 1,700 miles with under 500 miles left! Happy Father's Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, fathers-in-law, fathers who have lost children, adoptive fathers, and father figures in our lives!

How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

Visit Our Website to Read About Our Practice Areas

Recent Blogs

 

Who to Choose?- What to consider when choosing your Power of Attorney.

Take a Quiz- Are you prepared if your loved one has a medical crisis? 

A Meaningful Conversation- How to talk to your loved ones about their end-of-life wishes.

Critical Confitions- Learn about an advance care planning tool that makes a huge difference.

 
Contact Us

Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA


Miles P. Hurley founded Hurley Elder Care Law in 2006 to provide legal assistance to the elderly population on issues relating to aging including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of twelve attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Elder Law Attorney Certification, and one of approximately 400 nationwide. 
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Hurley Elder Care Law
100 Galleria Pkwy, Suite 650
Atlanta, GA 30339
404-843-0121
www.hurleyeclaw.com


Satellite Offices
2011 Commerce Dr. Suite 100, Peachtree City, GA 30269   
225 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188       
6340 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097
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