Sometimes the signs are subtle and easy to miss. In other instances, the change is almost immediate and there is no time for the Colorado resident to take action. The fact, however, is often the same. A loved one is no longer able to make sound decisions and guardianship decisions must be made.
Once a loved one is no longer able to make decisions, it is too late for the individual to appoint a power of attorney. In this case, it is necessary for the courts to appoint a guardian or conservator to act on behalf of the individual. Whenever possible, this role is typically assigned to a spouse or other family member. However, there are many instances when such an individual is not available or there is dissension regarding which family member should serve in this capacity.
The primary role of the guardian is to make decisions for the individual. These decisions include living arrangements, financial transactions, real estate transactions and medical needs as well as a variety of other possibilities. There may even be the need to make end of life decisions on behalf of the individual. Essentially, the guardian is charged with acting in the best interest of the individual.
The guardianship process can be emotionally taxing. In addition to dealing with the inability of the loved one to make decisions, there is often turmoil within the family regarding specifics related to the individual. Experienced legal counsel can assist the Colorado family in navigating the process and making the transaction as smooth as possible.