PROBATE

Probate is a court-supervised legal proceeding in which a deceased person's estate is administered and then settled.  It involves paying off creditors and the final distribution of assets.  

GUARDIANSHIPS AND

CONSERVATORSHIPS

Like Probate, where a deceased person's estate is administered, Guardianships and Conservatorships are also court-supervised legal proceedings where the incapacitated person's estate is administered.  For this reason they are sometimes referred to as "Living Probate." 

In Colorado, guardianship is distinguished from conservatorship.  A guardian has the care and custody of the person of an individual, known as the “ward” or “incapacitated person.” A conservator is responsible for the estate or assets of an individual known as the “protected person.”  There are however limited circumstances when a guardian may exercise powers over the estate of the person — e.g., the guardian may also be the representative payee for Social Security benefits. Conversely, a conservator may exercise powers normally belonging to a guardian, such as hiring home health-care providers. When dealing with guardianship or conservatorship in another state, the practitioner should understand the differences that may apply in that jurisdiction. Similarly, individuals from outside of Colorado may need to be educated as to the distinctions drawn in this jurisdiction.

ELDER LAW

Elder Law encompasses many areas of law and addresses the diverse legal needs of aging baby boomers and their elderly parents.  Seniors often have concerns and face complex legal issues that are different from what they faced when they were younger.  Actions taken may have unintended legal effects. As a senior, or someone who’s helping make decisions for a senior, it is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in Elder Law who, can use their knowledge to fit the unique needs of seniors.  A knowledgeable Elder Law attorney can provide advice and guidance in a variety of areas, which may include:

  • estate planning

  • disability planning

  • estate settlement including trust administration and probate

  • proper use powers of attorney

  • protection against elder abuse (personal and financial) and fraud 

  • advance directives for healthcare

  • avoiding guardianships and conservatorships

  • planning for incapacity and long term care

  • addressing health care and mental health issues

  • addressing nursing home issues and enforcing patients' rights

  • qualifying for and obtaining nursing home benefits

  • qualifying for obtaining Medicaid benefits

  • qualifying for obtaining Medicare benefits

  • qualifying for obtaining Social Security benefits

  • qualifying for obtaining Veterans benefits 

If you are a senior, or someone who’s helping make decisions for a senior, and you have any questions about any of the above, please call me at (303) 442-4600 for a free consultation to discuss what you may be concerned about.