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Guadianship and Conservatorship in Colorado

While appointing an agent under a durable medical and/or financial power of attorny is generally preferable, there are circumstances where a guadianship and/or conservatorship is necessary.

First, definitions of some basic terms:

Conservator
A court appointed custodian of property belonging to a person determined to be unable to manage his property.

Guardian
One who has legal custody over the person of an incapacitated person who cannot act for themselves.

Incapacitated Person/Respondent
“an individual, other than a minor, who is unable to effectively receive and evaluate information or make or 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.”

Protected Person/Respondent
A person for whom a conservator has been appointed or other protective order has been made.

Limited and full guardianships
The court "may limit or restrict any of the powers or duties of the guardian or the scope or duration of the guardianship." Ideally, an Order is individualized to meet the unique needs of the incapacitated person.

Remember, adults with diminished mental capapcity are as diverse a group as any other segment of the population and the details concerning their care should be personalized to the greatest extent possible. It is a delicate task to balance an incapacitated individual's constitutionally protected rights with the state’s need to protect its dependent citizens.

Filing a Guardianship of Conservatorship in Colorado

Petitioning a court to appoint someone as a guardian and/or conservator involves a number of steps and requirements designed to protect the rights of the allegedly incapacitated person. The process may appear cumbersome, however, the individual liberty and property rights of the allegedly incapacitated person must be carefully considered.

Petitions for guardianship and conservatorship may be filed at the same time. However, you must use a separate petition for each. The law governing guardians and conservators is located in the Colorado Revised Statutes at §§15-14-101 through 15-14-432 and is known as the Colorado Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. The forms required to file a petition for a guardianship and/or a conservatorship can be obtained from office supply stores, by ordering them from Bradford Publishing (303-292-2590) or by downloading them from the State of Colorado website. The forms and the filing fee ( currently $91.00) are filed with the District Court clerk in the county where the allegedly incapacitated or protected person lives.

More Information:
> Colorado Bar Association
> Denver Probate Court

 

Information courtesy of Elizabeth A. Kelly, Attorney/Mediator and Bill Beyers, Attorney at Law, Elder Care Network Participants. The information contained on this website is NOT a substitute for legal advice and no representations are made as to the accuracy of this information. Individuals seeking guardianship or conservatorship are STRONGLY encouraged to obtain legal advice. Many of the terms used herein have a specific legal meaning which may be different from the common usage of these terms.

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