What May Be Done If It’s Too Late For A Parent To Sign A Power Of Attorney
In this article, you will learn:
- How a conservatorship and guardianship can be of assistance
- How a conservatorship is established and why
Frequently, when action needs to be taken both financially, regarding investments and paying bills and covering mortgage payments and so forth, and/or when medical decisions need to be made and there is no power of attorney, things really get shut down. The family is then forced to go to court, and when they go to court, they ask a judge to set up what are called guardianships and conservatorships for singular or both parents. A guardianship is like a court ordered power of attorney to give somebody, through court, the power to make decisions on healthcare and other living arrangements, that’s a guardianship. A conservatorship is like a court ordered power of attorney whereby the person named as the conservator can manage financial considerations, taking care of obligations that may be necessary with other family members.
So, there is that route to go. However, the problem with guardianships and conservatorships is that they are very costly. Not only that, but they take a long time generally to get established, although I’m in the middle of one right now where we got an emergency guardianship which was granted by the court that allowed for action to be taken right away, so there wasn’t a big delay. Still, courts are very cautious when it comes to these types of cases, and therefore, they can be long, drawn out, and costly. So, hopefully, if folks do their powers of attorney early, we can avoid that type of problem.
A conservatorship is what I would call a court ordered power of attorney where a judge decides that an individual doesn’t have the ability to make prudent decisions on finances or perhaps is cognitively impaired to the point where they are unable to. Now, I had a case recently where a gentleman was sending thousands and thousands of dollars to a woman in Ghana with the expectation from this woman in Ghana that he, my client, my family’s father, would get a sizeable inheritance but this woman needed a lot of money to make that happen. They went to court and asked the judge to set up a conservatorship so that the kids could manage Dad’s money, so he would not fritter it all away. After hearing and testimony from all sides, the judge made the ruling not to order a conservatorship because he was not impaired to the degree that he doesn’t know what he is doing. If he wants to give his money away and he wants to send it across the pond to Ghana, that’s his business.
As long as he knows what he is doing and he is okay with it, who am I to tell him he can’t spend his money the way he wants. Of course, everybody was shocked. However, I wasn’t shocked. I could see the writing on the wall, but the point is that before a conservatorship can be created by a court, by a judge, the judge must make a finding that there is a real need, and that significant mistakes are being made because the man or woman can’t make prudent decisions. In this case, it was questionable, but the court denied the application for the conservatorship.
For more information on Guardianship & Conservatorship In Colorado, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 758-0680 today.