For years, to preserve eligibility for Supplemental Security Income or SSI, a federal government cash benefit, and the federal-state Medicaid program -- called Health First Colorado in our state -- people with disabilities have had to remain relatively impoverished. Usually, this has meant not exceeding $2,000 in countable assets.
In order to execute a valid will or estate plan, the testator must have the mental capacity to do so. Colorado Statute 15-11-501 puts it this way: “An individual eighteen or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will.”
At Chayet & Danzo LLC, one of our foremost professional goals is to help families with children or other relatives who have autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome. We provide guidance and legal services to these clients to help them protect their loved ones in areas of legal, financial, physical and personal vulnerability.
Many of the clients at our law firm come here because they are concerned about their aging parents. Problems can range from physical frailty to declining cognitive ability that can bring challenges in self-care and personal safety as well as open them up to other vulnerabilities.
Today we will talk about what a Colorado personal representative does to administer the estate he or she has been appointed to handle. Last week, we talked about the fiduciary duties of a personal representative, including duties of loyalty, care and impartiality toward the deceased, heirs and beneficiaries, the court, creditors, government authorities, interested parties, creditors and involved professionals.