Standby Guardianship - Georgia

Date: June 2018

Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian

Citation: Ann. Code § 29-2-9

A standby guardian may be named by a 'designating individual,' which includes the following:

  • A parent who has physical custody of the child and whose rights have not been terminated
  • A guardian of the child

How to Establish a Standby Guardian

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 29-2-10; 29-2-11

A designating individual may designate an individual to serve as standby guardian of a minor upon the health determination being made.

The designation must be in writing and signed by the designating individual or by some other individual in the designating individual's presence and at the designating individual's express direction. The designation shall be attested to and subscribed by two or more competent witnesses. Neither the witness nor an individual signing on behalf of the designating individual may be named the standby guardian.

A form for the designation is provided in § 29-2-11.

How Standby Authority is Activated

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 29-2-10; 29-2-13

Upon the health determination being made and without the necessity of any judicial intervention, the standby guardian shall assume all the rights, duties, and responsibilities of guardianship of the person of the minor. At that time, the standby guardian shall file with the court a notice of the standby guardianship with a copy of the standby guardianship designation and the health determination attached.

Within 120 days of the health determination being made, the standby guardian shall file, with the probate court in the county of domicile of the minor, a petition seeking temporary guardianship of the minor. Except as otherwise provided, a standby guardianship shall automatically terminate 120 days after the making of the health determination unless the standby guardian has filed a petition for temporary guardianship of the minor, in which case the standby guardianship shall remain in effect, unless otherwise revoked, until the petition is ruled upon.

Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 29-2-10; 29-2-11

No proceedings under this part shall relieve any parent, custodial or noncustodial, of a duty to support the minor.

With regard to a parent of the minor who is not the designating individual, the designation shall state, to the extent known, that parent's name and address, whether that parent had his or her parental rights terminated, and whether that parent cannot be located or is deceased.

Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby

Citation: Ann. Code § 29-2-10

Depending on the designating individual's physical or mental condition or health, the designating individual may confer with the standby guardian in decision-making concerning the care and welfare of the minor.

Withdrawing Guardianship

Citation: Ann. Code § 29-2-12

At any time before the health determination is made, a standby guardianship may be revoked without notice to anyone by destruction or obliteration of the designation with an intent to revoke, or by a written revocation signed by the designating individual and attested to by two or more competent witnesses.

After the health determination has been made, the standby guardianship may be revoked by the designating individual by filing a notice of such revocation with the court in which the standby guardianship was filed and by mailing a copy of the notice of revocation to the standby guardian.

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