Putting In Place A Guardianship & Conservatorship to Protect Against Financial Exploitation


Rocky Mountain Elder Law

Posted on

Oct 04, 2022


Colorado - Denver Metro

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Rocky Mountain Elder Law recently worked on a case where an elderly man with mild dementia was at risk of exploitation by those around him.

An 89-year-old Colorado man (Tom) with mild dementia had a girlfriend in her 60s (Sally). She had a financial Power of Attorney giving her power over his finances. Together, they would regularly visit the various banks he had accounts with to withdraw his money. In addition, the elderly man had a great-nephew (Andrew) whose college tuition he wanted to pay for and a niece, Bree, (the nephew’s mother) with a serious gambling addiction.

Tom’s 94-year-old sister Helen lived in Illinois and was concerned about Tom’s money being taken by his girlfriend and family members such as Bree and Andrew. Helen called Tom’s local Adult Protective Services for a welfare check on Tom to make sure that he was being cared for. Adult Protective Services found that Tom was being physically neglected and living in unsuitable conditions. They then called the police and Helen engaged me to help her brother.

Due to his mild dementia, Tom needed a guardian and conservator – someone to ensure that he was being taken care of and that his money was safe. In this case, Helen was the only one in the family willing to take on this responsibility, but this was deemed inappropriate because she was out of state and due to her age.

Instead, Adult Protective Services proposed a third-party guardianship and conservatorship to give Tom financial and medical security. The guardian and conservator are now an independent person, based in Colorado. Now, Tom has home care, an allowance and his finances are safe. He still sees his girlfriend Sally, but the Power of Attorney she had is void and she can no longer access his finances. Bree had no access to his money, but Tom could still pay for Andrew’s college tuition, as he originally wanted.

This case was successful because this setup gives Tom protection against exploitation, but still allows him independence and the ability to make his own financial choices, as far as he is able.

If you know someone who might be at risk in a similar situation, call us on 720-457-4573 or email us at info@rockymtnelderlaw.com.

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Local Services By This Author

Rocky Mountain Elder Law

Elder Law 651 Garrison Street, Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

Rocky Mountain Elder Law is passionate about protection and justice for vulnerable people. Attorney Kate Silburn specializes in helping older and disabled people who may be at risk of, or who have experienced, some kind of exploitation. She uses all the tools at her disposal to fight for them, including estate planning, probate, probate litigation, and guardianships and conservatorships. Kate's credentials of a Masters of Divinity and Juris Doctor, as well as her role as a hospice chaplain, give her unique insight into the challenges facing older people at the end of their lives. She has seen what happens when the right protections are not in place and is dedicated to advocating for vulnerable people. Rocky Mountain Elder Law LLC serves Colorado's Front Range and is available to support families in the Denver Metro area. "Giving families peace of mind by protecting their legacy".

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Probate 651 Garrison Street, Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

Rocky Mountain Elder Law is passionate about protection and justice for vulnerable people. Attorney Kate Silburn specializes in helping older and disabled people who may be at risk of, or who have experienced, some kind of exploitation.She uses all the tools at her disposal to fight for them, including estate planning, probate, probate litigation, and guardianships and conservatorships.Kates credentials of a Masters of Divinity and Juris Doctor, as well as her role as a hospice chaplain, give her unique insight into the challenges facing older people at the end of their lives. She has seen what happens when the right protections are not in place and is dedicated to advocating for vulnerable people.Rocky Mountain Elder Law LLC serves Colorado's Front Range and is available to support families in the Denver Metro area.Giving families peace of mind by protecting their legacy