If your parent can no longer manage his or her own care without help, it may be time to appoint a guardian. A guardian assists a vulnerable adult (also called the ward) in various tasks, from arranging health care to shopping for clothes and food.
Being appointed to certain legal roles can be intimidating. In the space of one event, you could become responsible for someone else's financial health, safety and decision-making. It can be a lot to take on, particularly if you are not prepared for the role.
Serving as a guardian is a major responsibility. And with this responsibility comes considerable control over another person's life. As such, guardians must act appropriately and make sound decisions that prioritize the ward's best interests.
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.