Guardianship / Conservatorship
At Baker Law Group, we try our best to provide the attentive guidance you need when handling sensitive situations like guardianships and conservatorships. Our attorneys can assist you throughout the process of your appointment as a guardian or conservator, as well as with other issues that arise during your tenure a guardian or conservator.
- A guardian is a person or persons appointed by a court to assist with the personal affairs on behalf of a minor or an adult who is incapacitated and to make decisions on their behalf. A person under a guardianship is called a “ward”.
- A conservator is a person appointed by a court to manage the finances and property of an adult who has been deemed incapacitated. A conservator makes sure assets are not wasted and are managed properly. A person under a conservatorship is called a “protected person”.
- A guardian can be appointed by the court on an emergency basis if it finds that harm to a person’s health, safety, or welfare will result without an emergency guardian being appointed. The emergency guardianship cannot exceed 60 days.
Guardianship for Adults
Appointment of a Guardian for an Adult
- A Petition for Appointment of a Guardian for an Incapacitated Person is filed with the District Court in the county in which the incapacitated person lives.
- An incapacitated person is defined as “an individual other than a minor, who is unable to effectively receive or evaluate information or unable to make or to 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.”
Guardian Ad Litem
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
- A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a respondent in a proceeding as the court deems necessary. The duties of a guardian ad litem must be specified by the court.
Who can be a guardian or conservator?
- Any person age 21 or older may be appointed as a guardian and/or conservator. Colorado law prohibits long-term care providers from serving as a guardian or conservator for any person they provide care to unless related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Responsibilities of a Guardian
- Make decisions on behalf of the ward based on the limitations of the ward
- Encourage the ward to be active in the decisions being made on their behalf
- When making decisions, consider the expressed desires and personal values of the ward to the extent known; if not, make decisions based upon the ward’s best interest.
- Decide on an appropriate place for the ward to live
- Arrange for and make decisions about care, medical treatment or other services for the ward.
- Make sure the needs of the ward are met, including housing, food, and clothing
- File the personal care plan within 60 days after appointment
- Submit annual reports to the court about the status of the guardianship and the condition of the ward
Responsibilities of a Conservator
- Make decisions that are in the best interest of the protected person
- Take the necessary and appropriate steps to protect the assets of the ward
- Within 90 days of appointment, must file a financial plan with the court
- File an annual report with the court.
- A limited guardianship or conservatorship means the authority of a guardian or conservator is limited to only specific matters. If unlimited guardianship or conservatorship is requested, it must be explained why limited guardianship or conservatorship is not proper.
Notice of Appointment
- Within 30 days of the order of a protected person, notice must be given to anyone required by the court and any other interested parties.
- Interested parties include: spouse, protected person, adult children, physician, and parents.