Guardian assisting her incapacitated relative

Guardianship Attorney

Minors are unable to make legal decisions themselves. Adults who are disabled or incapacitated may face similar issues.

Guardianship appoints a responsible individual to look after the well-being of children or adults with a disability.

The attorneys at Dunsing, Deakins & Galera, LLC, can help people in Denver, Avon, and Vail Valley, CO, apply for guardianship.

Why Guardianship Instead of Adoption?

While guardianship of a minor and adoption seem similar, they differ in important ways. The attorneys at our Denver law office can let you know which option may be better for your situation.

Adoption permanently alters the relationship between a child and their biological parents. When a child is adopted, they can no longer inherit property from their biological parent automatically, and their biological parents no longer have child support obligations. Guardianship is a legal relationship that does not end the obligations of a biological parent to their child.

Responsibilities of a Guardian

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  • Provide proper care for the ward's well-being
  • Supply food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities
  • Authorize medical treatments and other health needs
  • Ensure the ward can participate in decision making
  • Consider the ward's values when making decisions on their behalf
  • Notify the court regarding changes in a ward's condition

Who Can Become a Legal Guardian? Qualifications and Eligibility

The state of Colorado allows a person to become a guardian of a Colorado resident, even if the guardian lives outside the state. However, other criteria must also be met.

Age Requirement to Become a Guardian

To become a guardian, you must be at least 21 years of age. The minimum age helps ensure a person is capable of caring for a minor or an adult who is disabled or incapacitated.

Review of Criminal and Credit History

The court will review your criminal record and a current credit report before granting guardianship. This allows the court to assess the suitability and responsibility of a potential legal guardian.

Court Review for Guardianship of an Adult

When applying for guardianship of an adult rather than a minor, the court must determine if the adult ward cannot care for or make decisions for themself. In such cases, a guardian is necessary.

Do You Have Questions About Guardianship? Contact Our Lawyers to Get the Answers You Need

Becoming a legal guardian to a family member or loved one can be an involved process, which is why it's crucial that you consult a guardianship attorney at our Denver law firm. Our lawyers are familiar with guardianship proceedings and will help prepare you for what's ahead.

The attorneys of Dunsing, Deakins & Galera have helped clients throughout the state of Colorado, from Avon and Vail Valley all the way to Denver. With more than 45 combined years in legal practice, our lawyers can draw from their knowledge of Colorado state guardianship cases and statutes.

For more information about becoming a guardian, contact our law offices online. You can also schedule a consultation with a guardianship lawyer by phone.

Joseph Galera
With offices in Avon and Denver, the lawyers of Dunsing, Deakins & Galera can provide legal guidance to people throughout the state of Colorado.

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(303) 758-8981

Clients Share Their Experiences with Our Law Firm We Are Here for the People of Colorado

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Britany Carter

2021

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I am already in awe at the complete 360 turn around in the DA’s attitude towards me and my case after a little under a month of being represented by Joe Galera— I am finally feeling confident in my defense for the first time since these unjust charges were filed against me. Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

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Amelia Muniz

2017

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Lucy, Wendi, and Fred were all amazing throughout my case. Lucy's knowledge and expertise, as well as the law firm's professional connections with mediators and child family investigators, led to a custody resolution that truly represents the best interest of my son. Many thanks!

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When Can the Court Appoint a Guardian?

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A legal guardian may be court appointed for a minor in these situations:

  • The minor's parent(s) agree
  • The parents have their parental rights removed
  • The parents are unable to care for their child
  • The previous guardian dies or is incapacitated and they did not name a successor

The Guardianship Process What Steps Do I Need to Take?

If you want to become someone's legal guardian, here are the general steps you need to take:
Once guardianship has been granted, our Denver attorneys can offer information on additional filings and your ongoing duties while caring for your ward.
Once guardianship has been granted, our Denver attorneys can offer information on additional filings and your ongoing duties while caring for your ward.

Consult with a Guardianship Attorney

Before diving into the process, you should contact us about your situation. The team at our Denver law firm can review your case, lay out the concerns that go into guardianship, and let you know what documents you need ready. Speaking with a lawyer can help you avoid costly or time-consuming mistakes.

Filing for Guardianship

Next, you will need to file the guardianship case with the proper court where the minor or incapacitated adult (the respondent) lives. The attorneys at our Avon and Denver law offices can help with this process as well.

Investigation and Report

After filing, a court visitor is sent to interview you and the respondent. This helps assess if guardianship or conservatorship is recommended, and what powers should be granted.

Court Hearing

A court hearing is set with the petitioner and the respondent. The judge will review the evidence and reports to determine if the petitioner should be appointed the legal guardian to the respondent.
After being appointed someone's legal guardian, our Denver attorneys can offer information on additional filings and your ongoing duties while caring for your ward.

Guardianship vs. Conservatorship

What Is Conservatorship?

Guardianship and conservatorship may seem like the same thing, yet there is a key distinction regarding the roles of legal guardians and conservators.

A legal guardian is meant to look after the well-being of a ward who cannot care for themselves. A conservator is appointed by the probate court to look after the estate of someone who cannot make financial decisions for themselves. Simply put, a conservator looks over the finances of a protected person.

When Is Conservatorship a Good Option?

A conservatorship may be preferable to guardianship when addressing the needs of an adult or minor who cannot make financial decisions themselves. An incapacitated person can have both a legal guardian and a conservator.

When you meet with our Denver attorneys, we can help determine if a conservatorship is worth considering for your family member or loved one in addition to guardianship.

Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney

What Is Power of Attorney?

In addition to conservators and conservatorship, it's also important to consider power of attorney in the context of guardianship.

Power of attorney is an estate planning document that appoints someone to act on your behalf regarding financial matters in case of incapacitation. Someone may be granted full or limited power of attorney.

When Is Power of Attorney a Good Option?

Since power of attorney is an estate planning document, it may be a good option to consider protecting assets and placing them in control of a trusted family member or associate. Our Denver lawyers can help you consider various options regarding your physical and financial well-being.

Our Mission

"Our goal is to listen to our client's unique goals; some need ultimate victory and some want a reprieve. We will tailor your legal strategy to obtain a resolution that meets your unique needs." Dunsing, Deakins & Galera, LLC

Representing Clients in the Denver Area and Beyond "Couldn't thank him enough for everything."

1

Lauren Coker

2017

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Fred, Lucy and Wendi were very professional and paid close attention to court deadlines and appearances. I always knew what was going on with my case because they were very communicative about the whole divorce process. I would definitely recommend Dunsing & Deakins to anyone going through a divorce or legal separation.

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Eric Castro

2014

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Was an awesome attorney was very caring of the situation and handled it very diligently.  Never gave any excuses was always honest and very prompt. Couldn't thank him enough for everything.

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Dunsing, Deakins & Galera

Dunsing, Deakins & Galera, LLC

At Dunsing, Deakins & Galera, LLC, our team has over 50 years of combined legal experience. Our attorneys are members of several professional legal organizations and have received a number of distinguished awards:

  • AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Contact us online or call us at (303) 758-8981 (Denver) or (970) 323-0023 (Avon) .

Contact Us Today

"Facing the court system in America can be a daunting task for anyone, especially those who are innocent of crimes that they have nevertheless been accused of. Mr. Galera is more than worth the cost of his services. I simply could not recommend any other defense attorney. Seriously, call these folks!" Satisfied Client

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