Conservatorships in Denver, Colorado
In this article we will discuss what a legal conservatorship is, when a conservatorship is necessary, what the role of a conservator or legal guardian is, who can become a conservator or legal guardian, what a conservator’s duties are, and how long a conservatorship can last.
If you would like more information on conservatorships or would like to begin the process of implementing one today, please give our team at Brestel Law a call, 303-731-4402.
What Is a Conservatorship?
When most people hear the term “conservatorship,” they are likely to first think of environmental conservation. However, in the legal world, a conservatorship is a very different animal. In elder law, a conservatorship is a protective legal measure that can be taken when a person can no longer manage their property or business affairs. This could be because of physical or mental incapacity, or even just cognitive decline that comes with getting older.
A conservatorship is a legal relationship between an individual, the “conservator,” and a person who is unable to take care of their property, known as the “protected person.” The conservator acquires the legal authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the protected person, and this authority may or may not be limited by the court.
A conservatorship can be a vital tool for ensuring that a person’s assets are protected and/or the person is not taken advantage of by outside parties and scam artists, while still maintaining as much independence and autonomy as possible. It can also provide peace of mind for family members who may be concerned about their loved one’s welfare.
When Is a Conservatorship in Colorado Necessary?
A Colorado conservatorship may be necessary when an individual cannot take care of their finances because of a physical or mental incapacity and the individual does not have a valid power of attorney in place to handle these matters. A conservatorship gives another person the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the individual in need of help.
There are several reasons why someone may need a conservatorship in Colorado, including:
- The individual is unable to make sound decisions about their own business affairs due to a mental illness, developmental disability, or dementia.
- The individual is unable to take care of their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.
- The individual is unable to manage their finances and pay their bills.
- The individual is at risk of being taken advantage of by others.
A Colorado conservatorship may be the best way to protect an individual who is unable to take care of their finances. It is important to note that a conservatorship should typically only be used as a last resort and when all other options have been exhausted and should be limited in its scope, if possible.
What Is the Role of a Colorado Conservator?
A conservator is a legal fiduciary appointed by the Colorado court to manage the financial affairs for an individual who cannot do so themselves. The conservator has a duty to act in the best interests of the individual, and must keep meticulous records of all transactions made on behalf of the individual.
A Colorado court will only appoint a conservator if it is absolutely necessary, and will always prefer less restrictive alternatives if possible. For example, the Colorado court may order that a financial advisor help an individual manage their finances, rather than appointing a conservator.
If you are appointed as a conservator in Colorado, it is a serious responsibility and you must take your duties very seriously.
Who Can Be a Conservator in Colorado?
Not everyone is eligible to become a conservator. To be eligible, you must meet specific requirements set by the state of Colorado, including being at least 21 years of age.
If you meet these general requirements, you must also be willing and able to take on the responsibilities of being a conservator in Colorado. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Making financial decisions in the best interest of the protected person
- Protecting the protected person’s property
- Acting in good faith
- Being held accountable to Colorado’s court of law
What Are the Duties of a Conservator in Colorado?
A conservator is a Colorado court-appointed individual who is responsible for making financial decisions on behalf of another person, called the “protected person.” The duties of a conservator can vary depending on the specific needs of the protected person, but generally include:
- Paying bills
- Managing assets
- Making investment decisions
- Filing tax returns
If a conservator cannot or does not meet their duties, they may be removed from their position by the Colorado court.
How Long Does a Conservatorship Last in Colorado?
The length of a conservatorship can vary depending on the needs of the protected person and the circumstances of the case.
In some cases, a conservatorship may only last for a short period of time, such as when an individual is temporarily incapacitated due to an illness. In other cases, a conservatorship may be necessary for an extended period of time, or even indefinitely.
A conservatorship can be terminated in several situations. The protected person may regain capacity and be able to resume control of their own affairs. The conservator may resign or be removed from their position. Alternatively, the Colorado court may order that the conservatorship be terminated due to agreement upon another financial arrangement, such as implementation of a trust.
If you are considering a conservatorship for a loved one in Colorado, it is important to understand how long the process may last and what options are available for initiating and terminating the conservatorship. An experienced Colorado attorney can advise you of the best course of action in your specific situation.
Get in Touch With Our Colorado Estate Planning Team Today
If you would like to discuss Colorado conservatorships further or get a conservatorship in place for someone you love, please contact our experienced Colorado attorneys today. With their guidance and experience, you can feel confident and relaxed knowing all the legal pieces are in place no matter what the future holds for you or your loved one.
Contact Brestel Law and schedule a meeting with a member of our legal team today. 303-731-4402