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How do I protect myself from a Conservatorship?



Conservatorships in Colorado are meant to handle the financial affairs of incapacitated adults, or children who have inherited significant property or other assets. However, several conservatorships forced on celebrity and high-profile adults in recent years have highlighted the issue of adult conservatorships.


Celebrities like Brittany Spears, Amanda Bynes, Casey Kasem, Mickey Rooney, and Zsa Zsa Gabor have brought to light in recent years a number of issues that can occur when a conservatorship is forced upon someone against their will, or when there is disagreement over who should be appointed to control a protected person’s financial affairs.


Conservatorships are often necessary when a person lacks the ability to name a decision-maker for them, where there are conflicts between nominated decision-makers, when there are concerns that someone is inappropriately influencing the incapacitated person, or in the case of a true emergency where a court-appointed guardian or conservator is the only way to get a decision made.


While proper estate planning can make conservatorships unnecessary in many cases, when a person lacks such planning documents and becomes incapacitated due to illness, injury, or mental state, it can be necessary to seek a court-appointed conservator.


Fighting Conservatorship in Colorado


Unwanted conservatorships most often arise when supervision is sought over a person’s financial affairs without their consent, most often as a result of alleged mental incompetence, including substance abuse issues. Common challenges include a request for rehearing on the need for a conservatorship, challenges of the need for a conservatorship or the conditions of conservatorship, placement review hearings, or challenging the loss of certain rights, such as the right to drive.


However, in many cases, the best protection against being forced into an unwanted conservatorship is proper estate planning. Durable financial powers of attorney, durable medical powers of attorney, revocable trusts, and other estate planning tools can help ensure that your wishes are followed and that those whom you wish to handle your affairs are empowered to make such decisions, in the event you become incapacitated.


Contesting Conservatorship Issues in Colorado


A more common scenario than forced conservatorship is issues among family members and loved ones about who is appointed conservator and/or how a conservator is handling a loved one’s financial affairs.


Common conservatorship issues include:

  • Disagreements about who should serve as conservator.

  • Allegations of theft or fraud.

  • Allegations of self-dealing or not acting in a protected person’s best interest.

  • Contesting a loved one’s inability to manage his or her own affairs.

  • Liquidation of assets without court permission.

  • Failure to properly file annual reports.


With over 40 years of elder law experience, the Denver conservator attorneys at Evans Case LLP are some of the best guardianship and conservatorship attorneys in the Denver area. They are your local advocates, and will relentlessly fight for the welfare of you and your loved one.


If you are seeking a conservatorship in Colorado, call 303-757-8300 today to speak to a Denver elder law attorneys at Evans Case LLP.