At some point in time, it is possible that a Colorado resident will no longer be able to make legal decisions. When this happens, it is often necessary for a guardianship relationship to be established. This relationship can have been established by the individual through the estate planning process, or it may be necessary for a court to appoint a guardian.
Discovering that an elderly loved one is being financially abused sometimes does not occur until it is too late. The abuser has already done significant damage, stealing possessions and cleaning out bank accounts.
There may come a day when you realize that your elderly mother cannot make important decisions by herself. In these circumstances, it may be in her best interests to have a guardian. At Vincent, Romeo and Rodriguez, LLC, we understand that sometimes it is difficult to know when you should make these decisions for your mother.
If you have a parent or other loved one who is no longer able to take care of his or her financial affairs, it may be time to set up a conservatorship. Essentially, a conservator is someone who can be designated or approved by the court to manage your loved one's finances. One of the primary functions of a conservator would be to protect your loved one's assets.
It can be one of the most difficult experiences of your life; realizing that a loved one has reached a point of being unable to handle his or her personal responsibilities. And it is possible that it is in their best interests for you to intervene and take control of the situation by becoming their guardian.
If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, you likely realize that at some point, his or her ability to make decisions will become severely impaired. At such a time, it can be extremely beneficial for your loved one to have a guardian. A guardian can perform many important functions, such as making sure your loved one receives proper medical care and remains in a dignified and safe living environment.
The appointment of a conservator is one of the most important steps taken during elder care planning. A conservator typically acts as a fiduciary. A fiduciary is tasked with handling the finances of the protected person. As such, a fiduciary must always act in good faith and be honest and trustworthy.
When you are asked, appointed or believe that you would be doing the right thing to become the guardian of someone who is no longer able tend to his or her personal affairs, you will need to petition the court. However, be prepared to submit both an up-to-date credit report and have the record of your criminal history checked.
When you agree to become a trustee, you are making a big commitment. There are repercussions if you do not fulfill the job requirements as laid out in the trust. Because, as a trustee, you risk being held personally liable to the beneficiaries of the will or trust in the event it loses money. Alternatively, if it can be determined that the trust would have made money but you, for some reason, failed to carry out management of the property with the necessary skill and care required and therefore the trust did not realize the gain it should have, you can be held liable.
If you have been newly appointed as the trustee of an estate, you have a fiduciary duty to uphold the grantor's wishes when it comes to distributions and investments. The Colorado Fiduciaries' Powers Act sets out more guidelines than just the terms of the trust and those deemed as appropriately necessary to carry out the wishes of the trust.