Colorado Guardianships and Conservatorships
Protecting children and adults with disabilities
Guardians and conservators make important decisions for individuals who lack the capacity to do so. The need for care is weighed against individuals’ right to make their own decisions — including poor or self-defeating choices. Planning for guardianship or conservatorship of your family members can be complicated, challenging and sometimes heartbreaking. Robert A. Lees & Associates has the extensive knowledge and experience to guide you compassionately in making the best decisions for your loved ones.
The court appoints a conservator to make crucial decisions on behalf of a person who is not able to make important legal and financial decisions because of serious mental illness or incapacity. The conservator may be tasked with full responsibility for the disabled person or he or she may be given a limited role. For example, in the case of serious mental illness, the guardian may remain responsible until the individual has regained lucidity through medication and treatment, at which point the legal relationship is terminated. Sometimes a guardian or conservator is appointed to protect a child’s or adult’s best interests. This person can be a relative, such as a grandparent or other adult as needed.
Estate planning tools
To establish guardianship and to finance the care of your loved ones after your death, our team uses effective estate planning tools, such as:
- Naming a guardian in your last will and testament — If you die or become unable to care for your children and have not selected someone to do so, the court appoints a guardian from a list. You have the opportunity to choose a guardian and express your wishes in your last will and testament. By doing so, you gain confidence that your children will be raised in a loving home by a person who shares your child-rearing philosophies.
- Establishing a trust — Bequeathing a gift outright to the guardian entrusted with your children’s care is risky. A devoted guardian who dies may leave the money to a person who has no interest in financing your children’s future with the windfall inheritance. You can provide financial resources for your children’s upbringing through a trust established specifically for that purpose.
- Special needs trust — Even a small inheritance can jeopardize your loved one’s access to crucial government disability benefits. The creation of a special needs trust at the time of your death can earmark your assets for the care of a disabled adult while preserving eligibility for benefits.
Consult our compassionate Colorado attorneys and staff about guardianship and conservatorship decisions
For guidance on establishing guardianship or conservatorship for your minor children or loved ones who have a disability, call Robert A. Lees & Associates at 303–292–1020 or contact us online to speak with us further about these topics.