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
- 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
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.
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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— 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!!!View On Google
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When Can the Court Appoint a Guardian?
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?
Once guardianship has been granted, 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.
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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.View On Google
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