Public Guardianship Project Faces Fundraising Chasm

Commission struggling to find $1.7 million to launch pilot project despite lawmaker support and 'increasing need'

More than 5,800 Coloradans are in need of a public entity to make big decisions on their behalf. The state has plans to set up an office to do just that, but first the office must be able to raise its own seed money.

Last year the General Assembly passed House Bill 17-1087 to create a pilot project for the Colorado Office of Public Guardianship and a commission to set it up. The office would provide legal guardianship services to “indigent and incapacitated adults” who lack family or friends who could make medical, financial and other personal decisions on their behalf and also lack the money to pay for a private guardian.

The bill stemmed from a series of reports in recent years that called for Colorado to set up an OPG. The Elder Abuse Task Force in 2012 issued a report that recommended the state create an OPG, and two years later, a Public Guardianship Advisory Committee echoed that recommendation and proposed a pilot project.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the June 11, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.