Under Colorado law, probate court may assign a guardian to make decisions regarding the medical and physical care of a minor child or an adult who has been deemed incapacitated or otherwise incapable of handling his or her own affairs.
While such “protective proceedings” occur involuntarily from the standpoint of the “ward,” proper estate planning can ensure your wishes are followed in the unfortunate event a guardian becomes necessary for either you or your children. A durable medical power of attorney can make your medical wishes known, and you can also name an individual as your chosen guardian as part of other estate planning documents. An experienced estate planning attorney in Denver can offer the best guidance and assistance.
In some cases, the very need for a guardian may be contested, while more commonly there may be disagreements about who should be appointed, or about decisions being made by a chosen or appointed guardian. Seeking the advice of a guardianship attorney in Denver at the earliest stages is the best court of action.
Responsibilities of a Colorado Guardian
Each appointment has different requirements and the Denver probate attorneys at Evans Case LLP can help ensure 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. In certain cases, you may need help to challenge the appointment of a guardian, and/or the decisions being made on a loved one’s behalf. Our experienced estate attorneys can provide assistance dealing with issues related to:
Petitions to appoint a permanent guardian (for minors or seniors)
Obtaining temporary or emergency guardianship
Navigating adult guardianship
Challenges to the appointment of a guardian
Challenges to the decision-making of a guardian
Preparation of annual guardian reports
Those who seek guardianship in Colorado must:
Determine their eligibility.
File paperwork with probate court.
Give notice to respondent (ward) and other interested parties
Seek appointment from the court.
Duties of a Colorado guardian after appointment include:
File probate case information sheet.
File acknowledgment of responsibilities.
Obtain certified copy of letter of guardianship.
Complete and deliver notices of appointment within 30 days.
Complete certificate of service.
Complete guardian report within 60 days.
Complete initial care plan.
Submit annual paperwork to the court.
Submit annual report to ward and other interested parties.
Those seeking to serve as a guardian 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.
With over 40 years of elder law experience, the attorneys at Evans Case LLP are some of the most experienced guardianship attorneys in the Denver area. We are your local advocates, and will relentlessly fight for the welfare of you and your loved one. Seeking experienced legal help as early as possible in the process is the best strategy as it’s likely to be more effective than challenging the existing orders of the court.
If you are seeking a guardianship in Colorado, call 303-757-8300 today to speak to a Denver probate law attorney at Evans Case LLP.