Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

Those subjected to guardianship proceedings have a right to counsel in guardianship establishment proceedings per Ga. Code Ann. § 29-4-11(c)(1)(D), as well as in guardianship review proceedings under Ga. Code Ann. § 29-4-42(a) (in review of guardianship, “The court shall appoint legal counsel for the ward and may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem.”).


Regarding conservatorships of adults, notice to the proposed protected person shall "[i]nform the proposed ward of the proposed ward's right to independent legal counsel and that the court shall appoint counsel within two days of service unless the proposed ward indicates that he or she has retained counsel within that time frame[.]" Ga. Code Ann. § 29-5-11(c)(1)(D).  A protected person subject to a conservatorship also has the right to appointed counsel in certain matters related to modification of the conservatorship:


In any proceeding under this Code that would expand or increase the powers of the conservator or further restrict the rights of the ward, the court shall appoint legal counsel for the ward. In all other cases, the court, in its discretion, may appoint legal counsel for the ward or a guardian ad litem, or both.


Ga. Code Ann. § 29-5-71(a).  The protected person also has the right to counsel in matters related to termination of the conservatorship per Ga. Code Ann. § 29-5-72(a):

Upon the petition of any interested person, including the ward, or upon the court's own motion, and upon a proper showing that the need for a conservatorship has ended, the court may terminate the conservatorship and restore all personal and property rights to the ward. Except for good cause shown, the court shall order that notice of the petition be given, in whatever form the court deems appropriate, to the ward, the conservator, the ward's legal counsel, and the ward's guardian, if any. The court shall appoint legal counsel for the ward and may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no