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What legal rights does a 'protected person' have in Colorado?

There may come a time in life when a guardianship is considered to ensure a loved one is properly taken care of. There are many misconceptions about guardianships, particularly about the rights of the protected person. For Colorado residents who are considering a guardianship, or whose family members have filed for guardianship, it is important to know that this legal assignment does not mean the protect person no longer has any given rights.

If a guardianship is approved, the protected person has the right to receive the least restrictive terms possible. This will be determined by a number of factors including medical conditions, ability to communicate, mental awareness and physical limitations. A judge will determine the level of incapacity based on medical testimony and any other relevant evidence.

While, yes, some rights may be removed from the protected person based on the level of incapacity, all other legal and civil rights provided under the states' and United States' Constitution remain intact. These rights include the ability to remain in control of any and all aspects not delegated to a guardian, the right to privacy, the right to review records and express desires and opinions -- among many others. The decision to take away a person's rights is not one courts will take lightly or will do without sufficient evidence.

If a protected person is unhappy with his or her guardian or the terms of his or her guardianship, he or she has the right to request a new guardian or request the modification or termination of a guardianship. A Colorado elder law attorney can help with all aspects of a guardianship. This includes ensuring the rights of a protected person are being upheld.

Source:, "Rights Of An Individual Under Guardianship", Dec. 28, 2014

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