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There are times when formal “legal” communication is necessary. This post addresses several instances regarding how that can be done. It is not meant to be all inclusive and, in many cases, specific communication rules apply. Beginning a lawsuit: When you begin a lawsuit, a summons must be served on the Defendant(s). Generally, Rule 4 […]

On May 20, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued its Order in In re Estate of Brenda Elizabether Strother (Ward) (Appeal No. A22A0210). There, two daughtes filed a petition for emergency guardianship, alleginv two members of Brenda’s Jehovah’s Witness church (Robertson and Lewis), named in a 2020 advance directive were refusing to authorize emergency […]

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 […]

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 March 15, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided Willis v. Cheeley (A21A1730). There, a contested probate proceeding boiled over into the Superior Court of Gwinnett County where Appellee Joseph E. Cheeley III secured a declatory judgment against Appellant William Joseph Willis. The Court of Appeals held the declaratory judgment was improperly granted because […]

Every person has a constitutional right to represent himself or herself. However, the right to represent someone else is regulated. Each State regulates the practice of law differently. In Georgia, the practice of law is defined as: (1) Representing litigants in court and preparing pleadings and other papers incident to any action or special proceedings […]

In Walker v. Richmond (Ga. Ct. App. 3/1/2022), a Tennessee probate case crossed into Georgia in the context of a declaratory judgment action, a default judgment and a motion to set aside the default. Alfonso Patton, a Tennessee resident, was under a Tennessee conservatorship. After Patton died in 2013, his only biological child, Patricia Richmond, […]

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 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 […]

Outline of Georgia Guardianship and Conservatorship Process and Timeline Process Begins When Petition is filed O.C.G.A. § 29-4-10(a). Any interested person, including the proposed ward, may file a petition for the appointment of a guardian. Such petition shall be filed in the court of the county in which: (1) The proposed ward is domiciled; (2) […]

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