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After careful review of the COVID-19 environment, the law firm of Chayet & Danzo, LLC, will be conducting in-person appointments in our offices on a limited basis and with strict social distancing protocols.

During this time, our team will continue to diligently work remotely on all client matters and will maintain communication through email, telephone, and video conferencing. Our main office number, (303) 355-8500 will continue to be answered during our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.

This decision to have limited appointments in-office while following strict social distancing protocols is in the best interest and health of our team, clients and community.

We will continue accepting new clients during this period as well as fully servicing our existing clients.

We wish you and your family continued health during these unique and challenging times.

Compassion, talent and dedication: guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

Who makes decisions when a disabled child turns 18?

Developmental disabilities exist across a broad spectrum. Diagnosis may occur at birth or with failures to hit benchmarks in the first years. In other instances, it may take until adolescence or even early adulthood for such a disability to become apparent. Autism in girls may go undetected until high school and schizophrenia has an average onset of late teens to early 20s for boys.

For parents of children with special needs, it can be an overwhelming process to identify deficits as well as strengths. Getting the right services in place may require an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a different school placement or even temporary hospitalization. The age of 18 is a milestone that shifts decision-making rights to your adult child.

When to step in

When limitations affect your child’s ability to manage his or her own personal affairs related to medical care, shelter, food and clothing, consider setting up a guardianship. Because each child and family dynamic is different, seek tailored legal advice from an experienced attorney who has handled these matters. A lawyer appointed to serve in the role as a public guardian or conservator may have added insight as well.

A child’s limitations will affect the scope of a guardianship. This does not mean that a young person no longer has any say in making important decisions, but it is a guardian’s responsibility to make sure decisions are in the protected (incapacitated) person’s best interest.

How to start the process

In Colorado, the process starts by filing a petition for guardianship in Probate Court. The court also needs a medical information statement. This is generally a letter or report from a physician or psychologist that describes specific cognitive and functional deficits, evaluates educational potential, social skills and adaptive abilities, and recommends a treatment plan.

The petition must also specify the type of guardianship and names of interested parties, the proposed guardian’s information, and treating physician details.

A court visitor will meet with the incapacitated person, the proposed guardian (if you are a parent, you might also be the petitioner asking for the guardianship) and other interested parties to determine need. A recommendation is then made to the court, which will schedule a hearing.

This is a general outline of the initial steps required to obtain a guardianship. While cases can be expedited when necessary, it usually takes several months to get the right documents together and schedule a hearing. Do not wait until an 18th birthday to seek legal assistance.

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We are the premier Elder Law firm in the Colorado region. We set ourselves apart from other law firms in the area with our talent, dedication, compassion and ability of our attorneys to handle any case in Elder Law. We serve Colorado families with experience and dignity in your time of need.

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Denver Office
650 S.Cherry St., Suite 710
Denver, CO 80246

Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Phone: 303-872-5980
Fax: 303-355-8501
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105 Edwards Village Blvd.
Edwards, CO 81632

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
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600 East Hopkins Avenue
Suite 301
Aspen, CO 81611

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
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  • Rated by Super Lawyers Macro Chayet
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Frank J. Danzo, III
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