Making decisions on behalf of someone else can be far more difficult than people expect. Not only must a person make complicated financial and medical decisions, he or she must do so based on what he or she believes are an incapacitated ward's best interests.
Guardianships can become necessary when an adult or child needs someone to protect them physically, mentally and financially. A child may need a guardian if his or her parents pass away or cannot provide care. An elderly person may need a guardian if he or she cannot make critical decisions or communicate wishes.
If you or your loved one becomes incapacitated, Colorado courts can assign a legal guardian to make decisions regarding the ward's welfare, support, health, education and care. This person is typically someone appointed by the ward himself or herself, a spouse or an adult child.
When people cannot make medical or financial decisions for themselves, a guardianship may be the best way to ensure their protection. Though some people worry that establishing guardianship renders a person incapable of making his or her own decisions, that is not the case. Guardianships may be the best solution for an elderly person and his or her family here in Colorado, and they can hire a professional to fill the role if necessary. Whoever the appointed person is, it's important that he or she is fully qualified and keeps the needs of the subject of the guardianship front and center. One out-of-state family is dealing with this issue right now, as they allege that the professional guardian of their loved one may be responsible for his death.
Colorado, like most other states, is home to many Star Trek fans. Many people have a favorite character on the still-popular old TV show. Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura, ranks high on most lists, especially because she broke through racial barriers as the first black woman to hold a leading role in a prime time television series. Now age 86, however, the former actress is reportedly going through a stressful time in her personal life regarding conservatorship.
An accident or illness can strike suddenly. One minute, the Colorado resident is able to take care of himself/herself and make the necessary day-to-day decisions that must be made. However, all of a sudden, something has happened, and the individual is no longer able to do so. When this happens, it may be necessary for a loved one or another individual to take over guardianship responsibilities for the incapacitated individual.
After years of making decisions and taking care of him or herself, there comes a time when a person's aging loved one can no longer do so. When this happens, who will make the important decisions? Who will make sure the bills are paid, decide where the loved one will live and make sure that the he/she is properly cared for? Unless steps were taken to address this issue prior to its becoming a necessity, it may be necessary for the Colorado resident to petition the courts for guardianship of the loved one.
Having an aging parent can be a blessing, but it can also come with its challenges. While Colorado residents are certainly happy to still have their older parents around, it can be difficult to see mental decline occur and to witness parents struggle to keep up with important financial and household decisions. In some cases, an adult child may need to pursue guardianship in efforts to prevent detrimental outcomes.
When a loved one is unable to care for him or herself, family members may struggle to make the best choices. There may be financial concerns, such as managing the estate of an elderly parent who is showing signs of dementia. Perhaps most urgently, family and friends may worry about the health and well-being of their loved one. At some point, they may have to reach an agreement about whether guardianship is the best option.
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.