In re Holloway

555 S.E.2d 228 (2001)

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In re Holloway

Georgia Court of Appeals
555 S.E.2d 228 (2001)


Mamie Bell Holloway (defendant) was widowed and had several living children. Holloway’s financial needs were met through Social Security benefits and the interest Holloway received from $320,000 that she had invested in certificates of deposit. One of Holloway’s sons (plaintiff) convinced Holloway to give him power of attorney over Holloway’s finances. The son then cashed out the certificates of deposit, placed the money in an irrevocable trust, named himself as the trustee, and invested the money in a stock-brokerage account. Concerned about the trustee son’s behavior, Holloway’s two daughters (plaintiffs) physically moved Holloway from her home to where the daughters were living without telling the trustee son. The son reported Holloway missing to law enforcement, causing a frantic search. The daughters petitioned the state court to (1) invalidate the trust, (2) appoint a guardian for Holloway for financial and medical purposes, and (3) name the daughters as Holloway’s coguardians. The trustee son and Holloway’s other sons intervened, also seeking to be appointed as Holloway’s guardians. While the petition was being heard, Holloway was moved into a nursing home, where she fell and broke a hip. Although Holloway was in excruciating pain, her children could not agree where she was allowed to receive medical care. The court was forced to appoint an emergency guardian to approve immediate surgery for Holloway. Ultimately, the court concluded that the children’s distrust of each other prevented the children from being able to objectively make decisions in Holloway’s best interests, as proved by the secret-moving incident and the surgery incident. Further, appointing one of the children as a guardian would likely lead to unhelpful litigation from the other children. Accordingly, although the state statute indicated a preference for appointing a person’s adult children as the person’s guardians, the trial court found that good cause existed to bypass Holloway’s children. Instead, the trial court appointed neutral county officials as Holloway’s financial and medical guardians. Holloway’s daughters appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Phipps, J.)

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