Generally, conservatorships and guardianships are created in legal proceedings that are initiated to establish an individual’s inability to manage their affairs and result in the legal appointment of someone else to manage them. These are always best handled by a conservatorship attorney in Denver with significant experience in elder law.
Each appointment has different requirements and the probate attorneys at Evans Case LLP can help make sure that your loved ones are properly cared for and protected. We can also help protect you by ensuring that you meet the specified duties of your role as guardian or conservator. In certain cases, you may need help to challenge the appointment of another guardian or conservator. Our experienced estate attorneys can provide assistance dealing with issues related to:
Petitions to appoint a permanent guardian and/or conservator (for minors or seniors)
Obtaining temporary or emergency guardianship
Navigating adult guardianship or becoming a court-appointed conservator
Challenges to the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator
Preparation of annual guardian and conservator reports
A court proceeding seeking appointment of a guardian or conservator is referred to as a “protective proceeding.” A person alleged to be incapacitated or in need of protection is called the “Respondent” until after an appointment has been made. When a guardian has been appointed, he or she is called a “ward.” When a conservator has been appointed, he or she is called the “protected person.”
A person can be defined as legally incapacitated under Colorado law when “unable to effectively receive or evaluate information or make or communicate decisions to such an extent that the individual lacks the ability to satisfy essential requirements for physical health, safety, or self-care even with appropriate and reasonably available technological assistance.”
Those seeking to serve as a guardian or conservator must be 21 years of age or older and file a petition in the district court in the county where the respondent resides. In Denver, such applications are filed with the probate court.
The court first seeks to appoint close family members, which include spouse, adult children, parents, and aunts or uncles. Other relatives or close friends are a second choice. When no close family or friends are available, the court will typically appoint an experienced attorney.
Conservators must submit an inventory with a financial plan within 90 days of appointment and provide annual reports detailing the incapacitated person’s finances. Court permission is typically needed before disposing of significant assets.
The process is similar when seeking a conservatorship of a minor child. However, a conservator is generally required to sell real estate or other titled property and retain the proceeds until a child turns 21. Colorado law requires the court to appoint a conservator if a child inherits an amount of money that is greater than $11,000.
Evans Case is a full-service Denver Law Firm. With more than 110 years of collective experience we are relentless and compassionate advocates for our clients. The deep legal experience and wisdom of our senior attorneys combined with fresh thinking of younger associates ensure the best possible results in each case. Our attorneys understand that the best outcomes are built on thorough understanding, compassion, and respect.
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