- Conservatorship / Guardianship
Jereme Baker is the owner and Managing Member of Baker Law Group. Mr. Baker has extensive experience in the various practice areas of the firm, namely, Trust and Estates, Family Office and Business Law, Probate Litigation and Administration, and Guardianship/Conservatorship Law.
Brian Petz is a senior associate and chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Department of Baker Law Group, LLC. His practice focuses on estate planning, guardianship and conservatorship, estate and trust administration, and probate litigation.
At Baker Law Group, we want our clients to make well informed decisions regarding their legal issues. We believe in providing our clients with a comprehensive approach to legal services, and we take this same approach for our guardianship and conservatorship clients. Unlike some firms who simply “churn-out” legal services to clients, we strive to be a resource for our clients throughout the process. Our attorneys are actively involved in the senior community to ensure that our clients have access to the very best information and resources, including but not limited to legal services.
We are constantly adding guardianship and conservatorship materials to our free online library of resources in order to better serve our clients. You can find this information under our “Resources” tab on our website, or click on the links below under “Additional Resources”.
We think that because we have years of experience helping clients in Colorado with these types of matters our firm is able to provide a better service to our clients. 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.
We do our best to provide the attentive guidance our clients want when handling sensitive situations like guardianships and conservatorships.
- 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”.
Is a court proceeding necessary?
- A court proceeding is necessary as the court is altering the protected persons or wards legal rights.
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.
- While it is most common for a guardian or conservator to be a family member, this is not a requirement. If fact, it is very common for the guardian/conservator to be a professional, and in some cases it is advisable. Being a guardian or conservator for someone else can be very demanding of your time and, in some cases, your resources. You should consider your individual circumstances and those of the potential protected person/ward and consider if a professional guardian/conservator might be the better option.
- If there is more than one person seeking the appoint as a guardian, the court will follow the order of priority below in choosing the guardian:
- the currently acting guardian;
- a person nominated as guardian by the respondent;
- an agent under a medical durable power of attorney;
- an agent under a general durable power of attorney;
- the spouse of the respondent or a person nominated by a will or other signed writing of a deceased spouse;
- an adult child of the respondent;
- a parent of the respondent or an individual nominated by a will or other signed writing of a deceased parent;
- an adult with whom the respondent has resided for more than six months immediately before the filing of the petition.
- However, the court can appoint someone as guardian who has a lower priority or no priority at all, if the court finds good cause shown.
What do I do once I become appointed as guardian conservator?
- If you haven’t already done so prior to your appointment as guardian or conservator, you want to familiarize yourself with your duties and obligations with respect to the ward/protected person (see link below).
- In addition, you want to make sure you pay close attention to the orders and obligations given to you by the court. You want to be sure to follow these. At a minimum, you will need to file the initial Conservator’s Financial Plan with Inventory/Initial Guardian’s Report/Care Plan within the court’s required timeframe. You will also want to update the court if there are any significant deviations from the initial report once the court approves it.
- Consider what additional services or assistance you will need to ensure that you facilitating the needs of the protected person/ward and that you are meeting the court’s orders and expectations. You may consider hiring an in-home care professional to assist the ward. You may also need assistance with putting together a long-term plan for the protected person/ward. Consider the following:
- Will the protected person/ward remain in his/her home?
- If so, does he/she have sufficient transportation options?
- If so, would he/she benefit from a mobile dentist, or other mobile services?
- If so, would he/she benefit from certain technological systems, such as an in-home monitoring system?
- Will the protected person/ward move into a senior facility in the next 2-5 years?
- If so, will he/she need an independent care, assisted living or skilled nursing community?
- If so, what geographic location is preferable?
- If so, is the community a private pay only, or does it accept Medicaid?
- Will the protected person/ward remain in his/her home?
- We pride ourselves on staying connected with all of the various services available to the senior community and we are happy to be a resource for you. In fact, we believe that our connection and attention to the various services available for our clients allow us to offer a more holistic legal service to our clients.
For More information, click on the links below.