Meurer & Potter Law Office, Denver, Colorado
At the Meurer & Potter Law Office in Denver, we’ve represented numerous individuals seeking a Guardianship or Conservatorship when a loved one needs support beyond their capacity. While these options share similarities, it’s important to know the difference and navigate each process with care. Our attorneys will explain everything and help find the right solution for your family.
In the absence of an advanced directive and Power of Attorney document, Colorado law enables the courts to step in through the creation of a Guardianship. This legal process enables family members to assist loved ones who are facing incapacity, advanced age or disabilities and are no longer able to manage their own care or finances. A guardian is responsible for protecting a person’s well-being.
The court proceeding to seek the appointment of a guardian is known as a “Protective Proceeding.” A person who is alleged to be incapacitated or in need of protection is called a “Respondent” unless or until a guardian is appointed. A person for whom a guardian has been appointed is called a “Ward.”
Colorado’s laws are designed to protect the rights of those alleged to be in need of services rather than those attempting to protect them. The respondent or the incapacitated person is required to be present in the courtroom, and an absence is only allowed for good cause. The respondent has the right to examine all witnesses. Emergency appointments for incapacitated adults cannot last more than 60 days before there is a full hearing and appointments of a temporary guardian cannot last more than 6 months. The respondent is entitled to an attorney and will receive one simply by requesting.
The Meurer & Potter Law Office has represented both respondents and those seeking a Guardianship. Often this involves medical reviews and the appointment of a visitor of the court who will typically meet and speak with the respondent as well the family members petitioning for the Guardianship.
Without a Durable Financial Power of Attorney and/or Revocable Living Trust, Colorado law enables the courts to step in through the creation of a Conservatorship. If you are unable to conduct business due to a mental or physical incapacity, a conservator is responsible for your estate or financial affairs.
A court proceeding to seek the appointment of a conservator is referred to as a “Protective Proceeding.” The person alleged to be incapacitated or in need of protection is the “Respondent” until a conservator is appointed. A person for whom a conservator has been appointed is called the “Protected Person.”
Colorado law protects the rights of those to be protected rather than those attempting to protect them. The respondent is required to be present in the courtroom or absent with a good cause. A respondent has the right to examine all witnesses. Emergency appointments for incapacitated adults cannot last more than 60 days before there is a full hearing. Appointments of a temporary conservator cannot last more than 6 months. A respondent is entitled to an attorney and will receive one simply by requesting.
Once the court becomes involved with a Conservatorship, it usually stays involved until the person recovers or passes. The court will supervise how your assets are used for your care. This process is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to end if you recover. Further, a Conservatorship does not replace probate upon your death.
Whether you want to avoid the proceedings for a Guardianship or Conservatorship or find yourself in need of representation during one, the Meurer & Potter Law Office in Denver will help you and your family achieve a positive outcome. We are highly experienced working with all parties and the Colorado court system. We’ll guide you through each step and answer any questions you might have along the way.
Call or contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation: 303-991-3544