3900 East Mexico Avenue, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80210

OPG In Depth

Legislation

HB17-1087 created the Office Of Public Guardianship Pilot Program within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults who:

  • Have no responsible family members or friends who are available and appropriate to serve as a guardian;
  • Lack adequate resources to compensate a private guardian and pay the costs and fees associated with an appointment proceeding; and
  • Are not subject to a petition for appointment of guardian filed by a county adult protective services unit or otherwise authorized by law.

The office is established as a pilot program, to be evaluated and then continued, discontinued, or expanded at the discretion of the General Assembly in 2021. On or before  January 1, 2021, the director of the office shall submit a report to the judiciary committees of the Senate and the House of
Representatives. The report, at a minimum, must:

  • Quantify, to the extent possible, Colorado’s unmet need for public guardianship services for indigent and incapacitated adults;
  • Quantify, to the extent possible, the average annual cost of providing guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults;
  • Quantify, to the extent possible, the net cost or benefit, if any, to the state that may result from the provision of guardianship services to each indigent and incapacitated adult in each judicial district of the state;
  • Assess whether an independent statewide office of public guardianship is preferable and feasible;
  • Analyze costs and off-setting savings to the state from the delivery of public guardianship services; and
  • Provide uniform and consistent data elements regarding service delivery in an aggregate format that does not include any personal identifying information of any person.

 HB 19-1045 allowed for the appropriation funds for the Colorado OPG and extended the pilot program through December 31, 2023.  The Director’s Report to the General Assembly is now due before or on January 1, 2023.

General Assembly

Check back for updated OPG Legislation and Director Reports.

Duties and Services

The duties and services of the Colorado Office of Public Guardian (OPG) is codified in the Office of Public Guardianship Act, C.R.S. §§ 13-94-101 – 13-94-111 (2017, 2019): https://advance.lexis.com/api/permalink/5e186416-ff24-4eab-afa0-ac6ec0dd0943/?context=1000516

Pursuant to § 13-94-102 (2)(I), C.R.S. (2017), the Colorado Office of Public Guardian shall provide guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults who reside in the 2nd Judicial District/Denver County:

  • Have no responsible family members or friends who are available and appropriate to serve as guardian;
  • Lack adequate resources to compensate a private guardian and pay the costs associated with an appointment proceeding;
  • Are not subject to a petition for appointment of guardian filed by a county adult protective services unit or otherwise authorized by section § 26-3.1-104, C.R.S.

The OPG does not handle finances for clients.

Reporting Requirements

  • On or before January 1, 2023, the Director shall submit to the judiciary committees of the senate and house of representatives, or to any successor committees, a report concerning the office.
  • The Report, at a minimum, must:
    • Quantify, to the extent possible, Colorado’s unmet need for public guardianship services for indigent and incapacitated adults;
    • Guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults;
    • Quantify, to the extent possible, the net cost or benefit, if any, to the state that may result from the provision of guardianship services to each indigent and incapacitated adult in each judicial district of the state;
    • Identify any notable efficiencies or obstacles that the office incurred in providing public guardianship services pursuant to statute;
    • Assess whether an independent statewide office of public guardianship or a nonprofit agency is preferable and feasible;
    • Analyze costs of and off-setting savings to the state from the delivery of public guardianship services;
    • Provide uniform and consistent data elements regarding service delivery in aggregate format that does not include any personal identifying information of any adult;
    • Assess funding models and viable funding sources for an independent office of public guardianship or a nonprofit agency, including the possibility of funding with a statewide increase in probate court filing fees.

The Director, in consultation with the OPG Commission, shall develop a strategy for the discontinuation of the office in the event that the general assembly declines to continue or expand the office in 2023.  The strategy must include consideration of how to meet the guardianship needs of adults who will no longer be able to receive guardianship services from the office.

Standards of Practice

The Colorado Office of Public Guardianship adopts the National Guardianship Association’s:

 

The Colorado Office of Public Guardianship strongly encourages staff to become a Center for Guardianship Certification (CGC) National Certified Guardian and National Master Guardian: https://guardianshipcert.org/about-certification/

Operating Policies

The Colorado Office of Public Guardianship incorporates the National Guardianship Association’s Standards throughout its Operating Policies. The Operating Policies will be forthcoming.