A Word From Our Team

February 11, 2019

Can I talk to the judge?

By Clarence Cuthpert., Jr.


Many citizens contact the Probate Court and ask to speak with the judge. The initial response from the clerk is usually, “What is it in reference to?” The citizen’s response to this question is often, “Why do you need to know?” I assure you it is not just because the clerk is being nosey. It is because as judges, we must avoid conversations that give one party an advantage over another.

January 01, 2019

Alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship

Guardianships can take away a person’s rights to decide to marry, make contracts, consent to medical treatment, and establish a residence. Conservatorships allow the appointee to manage the ward’s finances and assets, buy and sell property, and enter into business and commercial transactions.

December 18, 2019

The Probate Court’s year-end review

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert., Jr.

Over the past 12 months the Rockdale County Probate Court (RCPC) has made several changes intended to improve the overall efficiency, professionalism and decorum of the court.

October 12, 2018

Duties and responsibilities of a Fiduciary

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

Fiduciary responsibility refers to the obligation that one party (“the fiduciary”) has to another (“the principal”) to act in his or her best interest. The various laws created to reduce abuse by fiduciaries provide assurance to principals that they will be protected from unscrupulous individuals pretending to act in their best interest.

September 04, 2018

What is a Power of Attorney and How Can It Be Used?

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

A power of attorney (POA) is a document in which one person often referred to as the principal grants authority to another person known as the attorney-in-fact or agent to act on behalf of the principal. The POA can be limited in scope to a specific purpose which would only grant certain authority the attorney-in-fact, or it can be general to allow the attorney-in-fact to handle all of the principal’s affairs. On July 1, 2017, a new Uniform Power of Attorney Act (the UPOAA) was enacted pertaining to most powers of attorneys (POAs) created by individuals in Georgia.

August 06, 2018

Are You an Heir or Beneficiary?

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

The terms heir and beneficiary are often used interchangeably. However, they represent two different categories of individuals who may inherit from a deceased person. This misunderstanding has been known to cause conflicts between those who stand to inherit from the decedent, either as heirs or beneficiaries, due to a misplaced sense of entitlem

July 09, 2018

Some Common Myths About Probate

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

There are several myths that have circulated for years regarding the time it takes to probate an estate and the expenses associated with the probate process. Many people assume these myths are correct simply because of what they have always heard. But, as I am sure we have all learned through the years, when we rely on what “they” said (which is often the source of the information that started the myth), more often than not there are inaccuracies in the information provided.

June 19, 2019

Rockdale County Addresses Elder Abuse

By Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and June 15 was labeled World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to someone age 65 years of age or older. Forms of elder abuse include: physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, neglect, financial, and exploitation.

May 14, 2018

By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.

Any disabled veteran of a war or armed conflict in which a branch of the armed forces of the United States engaged, whether under United States command or otherwise, any veteran of peace-time service in the United States armed forces who has a physical disability incurred during the period of such service, or any blind person may peddle, conduct business, or practice their professions and semi-professions in any By Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.county or municipality in the state of Georgia without paying an occupation tax, administrative fee, or regulatory fee for the privilege of so doing, provided such person receives a certificate of exemption issued by the commissioner of veterans service. 

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