Thanks to you, the Colorado Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) Pilot Program is at, or near, caseload capacity! However, we still need you!
Please continue to submit referrals to show the need for public guardianship services. This will allow the OPG to CONTINUE and EXPAND services across Colorado.
Your referral will remain on file for six (6) months from today’s date.
If/when the Office of Public Guardianship has caseload capacity within the next six (6) months, we will reach out to you to see if you still have a need for public guardianship services.
The Office of Public Guardianship will then re-evaluate the referral once you have provided update referral information.
A referring party is required to Register. Once registered, the referring party can Complete a Referral.
Note: For individuals that do not have a computer or internet access, you may call the Colorado Office of Public Guardianship for assistance in completing a Referral. Please call (720) 552-5215.
A complete referral will allow the Colorado OPG to determine if the alleged incapacitated person (AIP) meets the statutory requirements of the OPG. If the referral meets the Colorado OPG eligibility requirements AND the Colorado OPG has the caseload capability, the Colorado OPG will file an Acceptance of Appointment with the Denver Probate Court.
Please note that the Colorado OPG does not file petitions for guardianship. This means that the Referring Party is responsible for obtaining legal counsel to file the petition for guardianship. Acceptance of a referral by the Colorado OPG is necessary prior to the filing of a petition for guardianship.
Instructions for Adult Guardianship
The Colorado OPG cannot anticipate caseload capability until a referral is received and considered. We encourage you to submit a referral to assist the Colorado OPG in quantifying, to the extent possible, Colorado’s unmet need for public guardianship services for indigent and incapacitated adults, § 13-94-105 (4)(a), C.R.S. (2017).
The AIP must be an indigent and incapacitated adult who resides in the 2nd Judicial District/Denver County. In addition, the AIP must:
- 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;
- Not be 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.
- Please note that the Colorado OPG does not file petitions for guardianship. This means that the Referring Party is responsible for obtaining legal counsel to file the petition for guardianship. Acceptance of a referral by the Colorado OPG is necessary prior to the filing of a petition for guardianship.
To complete a referral, scroll to the bottom of the page. Click here to display the referral checklist.
A. Demographic information
- Name of alleged incapacitated person (AIP)
- Social Security Number of AIP or citizenship status of AIP
- Address or homelessness of AIP
- AIP county of residency (Denver only at this time)
- Date of birth of AIP (must be 21 or older)
- Veterans Status
- Confirmation of no pending guardianship proceedings by adult protective services
B. Income and asset information
The basis of indigency follows C.R.S. § 13-16-103 and the Supreme Court of Colorado Chief Justice Directive (CJD) 98-01. The requested information follows Form JDF 205. The Income Eligibility Guideline are as established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (See Federal Register 84 CFR 1167, 02/01/2019) and will be updated accordingly.
If the AIP’s income is at or below the income eligibility guidelines and he or she has liquid assets of $1,500.00 or less, as determined by the OPG Indigency Evaluation Form, the AIP is indigent and eligible for public guardianship services.
If the AIP’s income is up to 25% above the income eligibility guidelines and he or she has liquid assets of $1,500.00 or less, and the monthly expenses equal or exceed the monthly income, as determined by the OPG Indigency Evaluation Form, the AIP is indigent and eligible for public guardianship services.
Income is gross income from all members of the household who contribute monetarily to the common support of the household. Income categories include wages, salary, commissions, profits, interest/investment earnings, social security benefits (including disability), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), maintenance (alimony), pension, workers’ compensation, and unemployment benefits. NOTE: Income from roommates should not be considered if such income is not commingled in accounts or otherwise combined with the AIP’s income in a fashion which would allow the applicant proprietary rights to the roommate’s income.
Gross income does not include TANF payments, food stamps, subsidized housing assistance, veteran’s benefits or child support.
Liquid assets include cash on hand and in accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, equity, and personal property or investments which could readily be converted into cash without jeopardizing the AIP’s ability to maintain home or employment.
Expenses for nonessential items such as cable television, club memberships, entertainment, dining out, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. shall not be included.
- AIP income sources – employment, SSA
- Owner of real property and address; Liabilities
- Owner of a vehicle and car description; Liabilities
- Credit Cards
- ENABLE account
C. Incapacity information
- Primary Diagnosis
- Secondary Diagnosis
- Additional Diagnoses
- History of substance abuse
- Current corroborating evaluation and medical evidence regarding diagnosis and incapacity
- Specific description of how the diagnosis limit the AIP and deem them as incapacitated
D. Benefits information
- Name and contact information of caseworker
- Active/Denied Food stamps
- Active/Denied AABD
- Active/Denied Medicaid
- Active/Denied Medicare
- Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits
- SSA Representative Payee contact information
- Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits
- VA Fiduciary contact information
E. Family member or friend availability and appropriateness information
- Name and contact information of all known family members
- Specific steps taken to contact each family member and to assess appropriateness
- Name and contact information of known interested friends
- Steps taken to contact each interested friend and to assess appropriateness
- Proposed Petition
- Evaluation and medical documentation
G. Pending criminal or other civil proceedings
- Include case identification information and upcoming hearing, if applicable
A referral will not be considered complete until all information is adequately provided. The OPG will notify the referring party that the information was received and if it is considered complete or incomplete. The OPG may contact the referring party for clarifying information.
An incomplete referral will be placed on an internal OPG register. The referring party has 30 days to complete the referral. At 30 days, the referral will automatically be closed and the Colorado OPG will not notify the referring party. A new referral will need to be completed if the party wishes to nominate the OPG.
The OPG will respond in writing within 5 business days as to whether the referral will be accepted or not.
Please note that the Colorado OPG does not file petitions for guardianship. This means that the Referring Party is responsible for obtaining legal counsel to file the petition for guardianship. Acceptance of a referral by the Colorado OPG is necessary prior to the filing of a petition for guardianship. The Colorado OPG will provide an Acceptance of Office so that legal counsel may formally petition and nominate the Colorado OPG and file the Acceptance along with the petition and nomination.
The OPG will provide an Acceptance of Appointment so that the referring party may formally nominate the OPG and file the Acceptance along with the nomination.
The OPG will provide a letter of declination to the referring party when the OPG does not accept a case.
The Colorado Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) will consider emergency referrals on a case-by-case basis. The Colorado OPG serving as Emergency Guardian is generally disfavored and the use of Colorado OPG staff for this purpose should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances and when resources allow.
The Colorado OPG will consider emergency referrals on a case-by-case basis.
- Previously Accepted Referral. The priority for accepting an emergency referral is that the Colorado OPG previously accepted the referral for nomination for a permanent guardianship, and
- The emergency referral meets the requirements defined in C.R.S. 15-14-312: if the court finds that compliance with the procedures of this part 3 will likely result in substantial harm to the respondent’s health, safety, or welfare, and that no other person appears to have authority and willingness to act in the circumstances, the court, on petition by a person interested in the respondent’s welfare, may appoint an emergency guardian whose authority may not exceed sixty days and who may exercise only the powers specified in the order.
- The emergency referral requires the immediate need for a medical decision-maker, and
- The emergency referral specifies the immediate need and that it involves a necessary medical procedure and/or medical decision, and
- The emergency referral specifies the steps taken to identify others to serve as emergency medical proxy or medical decision-maker.
- Other Emergency Referrals. The Colorado OPG will consider emergency referrals that have not been previously accepted for nomination for a permanent guardianship. These emergency referrals must meet a. 1-4. above for consideration.
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