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In McAlister v. Clifton (Ga. 4/19/2022), the Georgia Supreme Court heard a case challenging the equitable caregiver statute, O.C.G.A. § 19-7-3.1. There, the trial court awarded Wendi Clifton, McAlister’s domestic partner, visitation rights to McAlister’s adopted daughter, Catherine. McAlister contended the equitable caregiver statute was unconstitutional facially and as applied to Clifton. McAlister also appealed […]

The following bills are among those that passed both houses of the Georgia legislature during the 2022 legislative session. Assuming they are signed by the governor, they will either be effective on the date signed or on July 1, 2022, depending on the text of each bill. SB 539 makes it unlawful under O.C.G.A. § […]

In Estate of Bane (Tenn. Ct. App. 3/23/2022), Martha Bane gave her son, John Bane, a power of attorney with “full power and authority to do and perform all acts and things whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done . . . as I might or could do if acting personally.” She also executed a […]

Elle

In Bethune v. Bethune (Georgia Court of Appeals A21A1659, March 11, 2022), Donald Bethune was acting as agent for his 89 year old mother under a power of attorney executed on November 14, 2019. Richard Bethune, Donald’s brother, filed an action seeking relief under the Georgia Power of Attorney Act, O.C.G.A. § 10-6B-1 et seq. […]

On February 24, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided In re Estate of Plybon (Appeal No. A21A1740, 2/24/2022). There, executrix Dorothy Johnson appealed from a Douglas County Probate Court order which construed the meaning of a 2013 Superior Court consent order in the context of  a Petition for accounting and Final Settlement of Accounts. […]

On February 11, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed Julia Bell’s conviction for elder exploitation. She was originally indicted 7 counts of elder exploitation; a jury found her guilt of four counts and not guilty of three counts. She appealed her conviction on the remaining accounts alleging, among other claims, that insufficient evidence supported […]

In In re Estate of Curvan (Ga. Ct. App. A21A1435 2/16/2022), Sharon Lavant offered a July 31, 2019 Will of Randolph Curvan for probate.  Cheryl Curvan, Charmaine Curvan and Randolph Curvan filed a caveat. Among their complaints, they alleged the Will was not the valid last will of Decedent, that the signatures on the Will […]

O.C.G.A. § 53-3-5 allows a surviving spouse or minor child to file a claim for Year’s Support. Although there are rarely objections, if someone contests the Petition, then the Petitioner must prove entitlement. Georgia appellate courts state the “intent [of year’s support] is to protect the family survivors from a reduction in their standard of […]

In In re Estate of Jenkins, 358 Ga. App. 254 (2021), the ward (Shaun Jenkins) sustained profound injuries as an infant due to malpractice. Jenkins received a settlement giving him annual income of $337,000 (or about $28,000 per month). The probate court limited the Conservator’s spending to $17,000. In 2019, the Conservator purchased a disabled-accessible […]

(Last updated 11/10/2021) The central and initial issue in every guardianship and conservatorship case is whether the proposed ward has decision-making capacity. In other words, can the proposed ward make and communicate significant decisions about himself (or herself) and can the proposed ward make and communicate significant decisions about his (or her) finances? For purposes […]

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