2022 Georgia Code
Title 29 - Guardian and Ward
Chapter 4 - Guardians of Adults
Article 3 - Protection of the Ward
§ 29-4-21. Rights and Privileges Removed From Ward Upon Appointment of Guardian

Universal Citation: GA Code § 29-4-21 (2022)
  1. Unless the court’s order specifies that one or more of the following powers are to be retained by the ward, the appointment of a guardian shall remove from the ward the power to:
    1. Contract marriage;
    2. Make, modify, or terminate other contracts;
    3. Consent to medical treatment;
    4. Establish a residence or dwelling place;
    5. Change domicile;
    6. Revoke a revocable trust established by the ward; and
    7. Bring or defend any action at law or equity, except an action relating to the guardianship.
  2. The mere appointment of a guardian does not revoke the powers of an agent who was previously appointed by the ward to act as an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care, a health care agent under an advance directive for health care, or a mental health care agent under a psychiatric advance directive.

History. Code 1981, § 29-4-21 , enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 161, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 133, § 9/HB 24; Ga. L. 2022, p. 611, § 2-7/HB 752.

The 2022 amendment, effective July 1, 2022, in subsection (b), substituted “health care, a health care agent” for “health care or health care agent” and added “, or a mental health care agent under a psychiatric advance directive” at the end.

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 2007, p. 133, § 1/HB 24, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “(a) The General Assembly has long recognized the right of the individual to control all aspects of his or her personal care and medical treatment, including the right to insist upon medical treatment, decline medical treatment, or direct that medical treatment be withdrawn. In order to secure these rights, the General Assembly has adopted and amended statutes recognizing the living will and health care agency and provided statutory forms for both documents.

“(b) The General Assembly has determined that the statutory forms for the living will and durable power of attorney for health care are confusing and inconsistent and that the statutes providing for the living will and health care agency contain conflicting concepts, inconsistent and out-of-date terminology, and confusing and inconsistent requirements for execution. In addition, there is a commendable trend among the states to combine the concepts of the living will and health care agency into a single legal document.

“(c) The General Assembly recognizes that a significant number of individuals representing the academic, medical, legislative, and legal communities, state officials, ethics scholars, and advocacy groups worked together to develop the advance directive for health care contained in this Act, and the collective intent was to create a form that uses understandable and everyday language in order to encourage more citizens of this state to execute advance directives for health care.

“(d) The General Assembly finds that the clear expression of an individual’s decisions regarding health care, whether made by the individual or an agent appointed by the individual, is of critical importance not only to citizens but also to the health care and legal communities, third parties, and families. In furtherance of these purposes, the General Assembly enacts a new Chapter 32 of Title 31, setting forth general principles governing the expression of decisions regarding health care and the appointment of a health care agent, as well as a form of advance directive for health care.”

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