The following information is NOT legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Each individual’s circumstances are different and the information below is general in nature. Should you have specific questions about your particular circumstances, you should contact an attorney.
My parents are losing their capacities, what do I do?
If you are wondering if your parents are losing the ability to make sound decisions for themselves, now is the time for you and your parents to meet with an elder law attorney. An attorney can discuss your concerns and meet with your parents to help assess whether they are able to make decisions. If your parents are still of sound mind, a power of attorney is an essential tool for your family. It will save time and money. If your parents are no longer able to make sound decisions and do not have an estate plan in place that nominates an agent to take care of their personal, medical and financial decisions, it may be time to discuss a guardianship and conservatorship.
What is a conservatorship?
When a person lacks the capacity to make sound decisions and if that person does not have a power of attorney in place, the court will often have to step in and appoint a conservator. The conservator will take care of the elder’s finances. The conservator must protect and use the assets for the elder’s best interest. To be a conservator in Colorado, one must strictly adhere to certain laws and the conservator will be required to file financial reports with the court. Often, a comprehensive estate plan can be fashioned so as to avoid a conservatorship.
What is a guardianship?
When a person lack of capacity to make sound decisions and if that person does not have a power of attorney in place, the court will often step in and appoint a guardian. The guardian is responsible for making personal and medical decisions for the elder. To be a guardian in Colorado, one must strictly adhere to certain laws and the guardian will be required to file financial reports with the court. Often, a comprehensive estate plan can be fashioned so as to avoid a guardianship.
Do I need a Medicaid plan?
Part of creating a comprehensive estate plan is considering whether you or a loved one may need Medicaid assistance for long term care. Planning for Medicaid includes spending down appropriately and applying for Medicaid benefits.