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Guardianship may be necessary if one becomes incapacitated

Diet, exercise and taking care of oneself are part of the equation for enjoying one's golden years. Yet, for some Colorado residents, this may not be enough. Illness or injury may strike leaving the individual incapacitated and unable to make decisions and take care of personal business without assistance. When this happens, it may be necessary for guardianship to be established by the court.

A guardian is charged with making decisions for the individual based upon what is in the individual's best interest and in keeping with the his or her values. If the individual's desires are known, then the guardian bases decisions upon these desires. Whenever possible, the guardian works to assist the individual in making decisions as allowed by the individual's incapacity.

The guardian is also responsible for making sure that the day-to-day needs of the individual are taken care of. In addition to food and clothing, the guardian also makes decisions regarding where the individual will live. If the guardian decides for the individual to live outside of the state of Colorado, the court must first give its permission.

Guardianship is a serious responsibility. Upon appointment, the guardian has 60 days in which to file a personal care plan for the individual. Additionally, the guardian must also file annual reports that address the guardianship itself as well as the condition of the individual. These safeguards are in place to protect the individual and his or her estate. For those concerned about the guardianship process, a conversation with experienced legal counsel can be helpful in addressing the concerns.

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