Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Guardian?
A ”Guardian” is a person or persons appointed by a court to assist with the personal affairs and make decisions on behalf of a minor or an at-risk or vulnerable adult. A person under a Guardianship is called a ward or protected person.
What is a Conservator?
A Conservator is a person, or persons, appointed by a court to manage finances and property for an at-risk or vulnerable adult, and whose assets may be wasted or abused unless oversight is provided.
Who is an at-risk or vulnerable adult?
An adult who is unable to effectively receive and/or evaluate information, make or communicate decisions to such an extent that the individual lacks the ability to satisfy essential requirements for physical health, safety, or self-care.
Who can be a Guardian or Conservator of an adult?
Generally, any person, age 21 or older may be appointed as a Guardian and/or Conservator.
Is a Guardian financially responsible and legally liable for a ward?
A Guardian is not:
- required to provide for a ward out of his/her own funds,
- required to provide actual physical custody of the ward,
- liable for a ward’s actions and behaviors,
- liable for harm to a ward caused by a caregiver selected by the Guardian.
How are Guardians and Conservators appointed?
The process of petitioning the court for Guardianship or Conservatorship can best be explained by a GAC staff member, please contact 303-226-5526 for detailed information.
How are Guardianship and Conservatorship terminated?
A Guardianship and Conservatorship terminates upon death of the ward or protected person. In addition, an appointment may be terminated if the ward or protected person no longer meets the standard for establishing the Guardianship or Conservatorship (clear and convincing evidence).
Is it possible to get an emergency Guardianship?
The court may appoint a Guardian on an emergency basis if it finds that substantial harm to a person’s health, safety, or welfare is likely to result without an emergency Guardian being appointed and if no other person has authority to act in the circumstances.
Can a Guardian designate another person to act for him/her if the Guardian will be unavailable for a period of time?
By the use of a power of attorney, a Guardian may delegate to another person, for a period not exceeding 12 months, any power regarding care, custody, or property of a ward, except the power to consent to marriage or adoption.
Can a Guardianship and Conservatorship be transferred to another county or state?
The court making the appointment of a Guardian may transfer the Guardianship to a court in another county or another state if the court is satisfied that a transfer will serve the best interest of the ward.
Can a Guardian or Conservator live in a different state from the ward or protected person?
Yes, as long as the Guardian or Conservator can be contacted. The Guardian or Conservator should arrange to meet personally with the ward or protected person at least two to three times per year to keep him/herself informed of the ward’s or protected person’s needs and circumstances.
Can Guardianship and Conservatorship be transferred to Colorado from another state?
Yes, if the ward or protected person moves or will be moving into Colorado. Proof of the appointment in the other states must be provided along with a petition to transfer. Usual procedures are followed to notify the ward/protected person and interested persons of the hearing and subsequent appointment.
Can two or more persons be Guardians of one ward?
Yes, it is a good ideas to have co-Guardians. In case one person is not able to continue there is another Guardian in place. When signatures are required, it is not necessary for all co-Guardians to sign, unless the court so orders.
Are there less restrictive options to Guardianship or Conservatorship?
Yes, there are a number of options that will leave the individuals rights intact, but will assist you in having the ability to provide oversight. These options include:
- Power of Attorney
- Advance Directives
- Representative Payee