Complete Guide to Conservatorship Colorado
Attorney Carolyn Duncan has too often seen individuals who haven’t planned for illness or injury. Read more about Conservatorship in Colorado.
What Is Conservatorship in Colorado?
If an adult becomes incapacitated due to an injury or an illness, or if an adult becomes disabled and unable to make decisions regarding their estate or care, then someone will be appointed by a Colorado probate court to make those decisions for the incapacitated person. They are called conservators or guardians.
The Colorado law (C.R.S. § 15-14-102(5)) defines an incapacitated person as someone who is not able to effectively evaluate or receive information, make or communicate decisions to such an extent that they lack the ability to satisfy essential requirements for safety, self-care, and physical health even with appropriate technological assistance.
Although, in some cases, one person can be both guardian or conservator, it’s important to know that each role has its own requirements and responsibilities. Also, in some cases, the court may appoint only a conservator or only a guardian.
Who Can Be a Conservator in Colorado?
Conservators are court-appointed individuals with the authority to manage a business, property, or financial affairs on behalf of a protected person or alleged incapacitated person.
The goal of appointing a conservator is usually to provide financial oversight so that the assets of an alleged incapacitated person or protected person are not wasted. However, a conservator is required by law to fulfill their duties in the protected person’s best interests.
To serve as a conservator, the individual has to be at least 21. They also have to file a Petition for Appointment of a Conservator in the district court in the county where the respondent or the person they will be caring for resides.
The court typically first chooses to appoint a close family member to this role, such as a parent, spouse, or a close relative. Other relatives and close friends are usually a second choice if previously chosen individuals aren’t suitable or available. The court can appoint a specially trained attorney if no one else is available.
How An Estate Plan Helps
An estate plan will detail your wishes so that your loved ones have clear guidance in regard to handling your estate. A basic estate plan includes:
Will or trust
A durable medical power of attorney
A durable financial power of attorney
When you have a detailed estate plan, your family won’t have to resort to the conservatorship process.
However, if for whatever reason you do not have an established estate plan and something happens to you then your estate will be appointed a conservator. A conservator is a person appointed by the court to make financial decisions and manage your estate.
Generally, conservatorships are established for those who are:
Suffering from diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s
Begin Your Estate Planning Today
Duncan Legal is a law firm based out of Centennial. Over the years, estate planning attorney, Carolyn Duncan, has too often seen individuals who have not planned for illness, injury, or accidents. Unfortunately, these things do happen and if you do not have your estate prepared then it will be difficult for your loved ones to handle your affairs.
It is important to note that conservatorships are both time-consuming and expensive as they require court hearings and ongoing assistance from an attorney. As an experienced estate planning attorney, I have the experience to help you or your family no matter what stage you find yourself in with regard to planning your estate. Contact a Colorado attorney today by calling (303) 394-2358 to schedule an initial consultation with me.