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Guardianships and Conservatorships

Caring Lawyer Helps Clients with Guardianships & Conservatorships in Colorado

Respected Denver law firm works to provide protection for minors and adults

Becoming a legal guardian or conservator for a child or an incapacitated adult in Colorado is an admirable act that comes with profound responsibilities. At my firm, Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC, I have helped Denver-area residents to acquire the legal authority required to protect their loved ones. Practicing law in the courts of Denver County since 1993, I understand what judges look for in guardians and conservators. With a straightforward approach and careful attention to your concerns, I will explain how different actions may strengthen or weaken your case so that you have the best possible chance to protect those who are most vulnerable.

Helpful attorney explains the differences in guardianships vs. conservatorships

Guardians and conservators perform different roles and have different obligations. The type of legal protection that is right for any given case depends on the factors at play:

  • Guardianship — A guardian’s obligation is to provide care and custody for another individual, whether a minor or an incapacitated adult. The protected person is legally referred to as the ward. A person who serves as a guardian is tasked with acting in the best interest of the ward’s well-being, based on his or her individual needs. Guardians make decisions about the ward’s living arrangements, food, clothing, personal care, healthcare, education and more, while considering the ward’s expressed desires.
  • Conservatorship — A conservator’s duty is to manage the estate of a minor or adult who is unable to manage it on their own. The conservator may take charge of the individual’s business affairs, finances and property. A conservator can use the estate to pay for the support, care, education, health and welfare of the protected person and the protected person’s dependents. Establishing a conservatorship over an adult is only an option in limited circumstances. A conservator may be appointed if an individual is unable to effectively receive or evaluate information or to make or communicate decisions. Whether a Colorado court grants a limited or unlimited conservatorship determines the scope and duration of the conservator’s authority over the other individual’s affairs.

As a family law attorney with more than three decades of professional experience, I am prepared to answer your questions about guardianships and conservatorships and help you pursue the relevant appointment.

Experienced lawyer guides clients through setting up a guardianship

To seek guardianship rights in Colorado, you will file either a Petition for Appointment of Guardian for a Minor or a Petition for Appointment of Guardian for an Adult with the court in the county of the proposed ward’s residence. A filing fee is required. As a proposed guardian, you must also submit a current credit report and undergo a criminal history background check by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

After you file your petition, a hearing will be set. You will be required to formally inform the intended ward and other interested parties about the hearing. At the hearing, you should be prepared to present evidence showing why the guardianship is in the best interest of a child or necessary for an adult. The adult over whom you seek guardianship must attend the hearing unless excused by the court, and he or she has the right to fight the guardianship.

If the court agrees with your evidence, you will be issued a formal notice and a copy of the Order Appointing Guardian.

Committed attorney assists with legal guardianship for children and elders

A legal guardianship is a formal decision by a judge to suspend the parents’ custody and grant custody to a non-parent. A parent can also enact a guardianship transfer by means of a will or other legal document. This can provide peace of mind in case of a serious illness or unexpected death.

Guardianship might be necessary in cases where parents:

  • Lack money or housing
  • Cannot provide a safe home because of drug abuse or domestic violence
  • Are suffering serious illness
  • Are required to serve a prison sentence
  • Have passed away

Guardianships for elders and other adults are important when health problems make it difficult or impossible for them to make their own decisions. Serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia or stroke can affect adults of all ages and require the need for legal protections.

Contact a dedicated Denver family lawyer for help establishing guardianship rights

From my family law office, Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC in Denver, Colorado, I help individuals navigate the guardianship and conservatorship appointment process. To schedule a free initial consultation regarding your Denver County case, call my office at 720-386-5511 or contact me online.

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Denver Office
  • Denver Office
    200 Union Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Lakewood, Colorado 80228
    Phone: 303-520-0387