Need Help With A Conservatorship?
While helping a loved one who may be resistant to change can be a very difficult thing, in some cases it may be necessary ― particularly if the loved one is no longer able to manage his or her financial affairs due to a physical or mental ailment. In fact, you may even need to ask the court to grant you conservatorship over your loved one’s finances.
At The Hughes Law Firm, we understand just how difficult and overwhelming conservatorship can be, which is why our attorneys and legal professionals are here to help guide you every step of the way ― from the filing of your petition to the termination of your conservatorship duties. When the assets of your loved one are at risk, you cannot afford to trust your case to just anybody.
Understanding The Conservatorship Process
If you are considering petitioning the court to grant you conservatorship over the financial affairs of a loved one, there are several factors and steps you need to be aware of, including:
- Hearing and notice: A hearing date will be set to determine whether or not to grant conservatorship. Notice of this hearing is required to be given to the alleged incapacitated person as well as to interested persons such as family. After the court appoints a conservator, notice of appointment must be given to interested persons.
- Letter from physician: A letter from the physician who has knowledge of the health and well-being of the alleged incapacitated person should be filed with court prior to the hearing. This letter should set forth the opinion of the doctor concerning the nature of the incapacity, diagnosis and prognosis. A psychiatric evaluation may also be required.
- Credit check and criminal background check: Prior to the hearing, you must file a CBI report and credit report with the court. This information is reviewed by the court to ensure that it is appropriate to appoint you as the conservator.
- Fiduciary duty: Before the hearing, you must complete training and review the fiduciary duties required under the law. For instance, the fiduciary duties of a conservator include those duties set by the court, as well as the duty to act in the best interests of the protected person at all times. A conservator must also file an inventory and financial plan, as well as annual reports, with the court.
- Court visitor: The court will generally appoint an individual referred to as a visitor, whose role is to provide the court with responses to certain questions. The court visitor is a disinterested third party who has no relation to the protected person, you or immediate family members.
- Termination of conservatorship: The court may terminate the conservatorship at any time. In addition, the protected person or current conservator may petition the court to terminate the conservatorship. In most cases, the court will consider termination if the protected person has passed away or is no longer incapacitated.
Even though the process for seeking conservatorship is similar to the process for seeking guardianship, there is one main difference between the two: Conservators have control over an individual’s financial decisions while guardians have control over all personal decisions.
Don’t Fret ― We Are Here To Help
Since 1974, our lawyers have been helping Colorado families deal with challenging estate-related legal issues ― and we can help you too. Contact us today for your free 20-minute phone consult to see if we can help. You can reach us online or call us at 303-409-3559. We have offices in Denver, Fort Collins and throughout Colorado.
The first call is free, so you have nothing to lose. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you.