What Is a Testamentary Letter in a Guardianship?


Quick Answer

A testamentary letter in a guardianship is a court-authored document granting authority to a guardian to handle the affairs of a minor or incapacitated person, according to attorney Ken LaMance for LegalMatch. This type of letter is based on state probate laws.

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Full Answer

Testamentary letters, also called letters testamentary, letters of testamentary or articles of administration in some states, are issued by a state probate court to grant an executor or administrator the authority to handle a deceased person's affairs, explains USLegal. An executor can take a certified copy of this letter to a bank to prove he has the authority to withdraw money from the deceased person's account.

When a person's will provides for the guardianship of a minor child or an incapacitated adult, the relationship between the named guardian and the beneficiary is called a testamentary guardianship. If the guardianship arrangement is approved by the court, it issues a testamentary letter of guardianship to formalize the relationship and provide proof of the guardian's authority to act on behalf of the beneficiary. This is referenced in section 24-5-30 of the Georgia Code that authorizes the use of testamentary letters and copies as primary evidence of a grant of authority by the probate court, according to Justia.

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