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In Denver and the rest of the state of Colorado, there are specific laws in place regarding guardianship and conservatorship. These laws are meant to protect adults who are unable to care for themselves and manage their finances. Generally, a person being appointed as a guardian or conservator for such individuals is in their best interests as they are not able to make decisions for themselves.

Who is in Need of a Guardianship and Conservatorship?

There are many situations in which an adult may need someone appointed as their guardian or conservator. The following includes a situation that would call for a guardianship or conservatorship:
  • An adult suffers some type of illness or accident that results in mental or physical limitations or both and is no longer able to care for themselves and manage their affairs.
  • An older adult develops a physical or mental disability as a normal part of the aging process or due to a medical condition that develops as they age.
  • A child suffers from a mental illness, developmental disability or physical disability and reaches the age of 18 but is unable to care for their own welfare and affairs and is dependent on another person for their needs.

What is the Role of a Guardian?

Guardianship involves being responsible for and taking care of a person’s safety, health and welfare in general. When a person is named the legal guardian of an adult, they gain the legal responsibility to make decisions on their behalf and can make decisions on their residence, health care, and education. A family member or even a professional can receive guardianship over an adult who is unable to care for themselves. Generally speaking, a Denver guardianship attorney can assist the person named as legal guardian in the best ways to move forward in their new role.

What is the Role of a Conservator?

Conservatorship involves managing a person’s legal and financial matters. The person named as someone’s conservator is legally allowed to make decisions that affect the management of their property, assets, and finances. In most cases, a conservatorship can be established when a person is incapacitated, such as suffering from Alzheimer’s, being in a coma or having suffered a serious physical ailment or injury. A Denver conservatorship lawyer can be essential in providing the person named as someone’s conservator with vital information on how to fulfill their role.

Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorship

In general, there are differences between guardianship and conservatorship. While a guardian gains the legal right to make decisions for a person that are based on their medical care, safety and welfare in general, a conservator strictly controls the individual’s finances and estate matters. The conservator does not make any personal decisions that directly affect the individual. In some cases, an adult may need both a guardian and a conservator. Denver guardianship and conservatorship procedures can be complex, which means it’s important to speak with an experienced probate attorney about any particular situation that calls for them.

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