A person who has reached the age of 18 is an adult under Missouri law and is therefore in charge of their own affairs, unless a judge has appointed a guardian or conservator. Creating a Guardianship in Missouri Requires Formal Court Procedure. The court will appoint someone to act as the guardian of the person in need of assistance, called a ward. The court shall grant the guardian authority to take control of the ward's finances and personal affairs.
Depending on the specific needs of the conservatee, the appointed guardian may be responsible for managing both finances and personal matters, including health care decisions. While the court always has wide discretion in deciding who to appoint as a guardian, the most common options are spouses, adult children, and siblings. The primary duty of a guardian in Missouri is to supervise the welfare and safety of the ward. This duty involves protecting not only the conservatee's money and property, but also the conservatee as a person.
It is essential to remember that, with a Missouri guardianship, the guardian's actions should always be in the best interest of the conservatee. To make sure that happens, guardians must file a petition with the court for permission to make certain important decisions. Guardians must also file annual reports to the court overseeing the Missouri guardianship regarding the status of both the conservatee and the ward's affairs. There are several great advantages to having a guardianship in place for your loved one.
A major advantage is, in fact, judicial oversight. Because the court oversees the entire process, your loved one is assured of invaluable oversight and protection against any breach of fiduciary duty or mismanagement of funds. Another important advantage is that a court-appointed guardian enjoys the type of authority needed when dealing with undecided third parties. Although court oversight is certainly an advantage, it literally comes at a price.
Continued court participation in guardianship proceedings makes it more expensive than other alternatives. Another aspect of guardianships that some may find worrying is the fact that the proceedings are open to the public. As for the ward, the loss of autonomy that results from a guardianship can be very disconcerting. However, there are some good alternatives to guardianship that you and your loved one can consider.
In most situations, the first sign of mental disability or disability is significant memory loss. It's always best to address any problem early on, before your loved one becomes a danger to themselves or others. While the preferred plan would be to care for your loved one without the need for a guardianship, not all families are capable of doing so. Discuss your specific circumstances with an estate planning attorney to decide the best course of action for you and your family.
The legal and court costs of guardianship or conservatorship proceedings against a person will be charged to your county of residence if you are unable to pay them yourself. Now, the conservatee can retain the right to vote, drive, and marry in a general guardianship, as long as the conservatee has a fundamental understanding of these rights. Guardianship is the process in which an adult who is not the child's father asks the court for custody of the child until he or she reaches adulthood. When problems arise, it is preferable to maintain the defense of a guardianship attorney with dispute resolution skills for advice, especially in court.
The factual basis of the petitioner's conclusion that the person for whom guardianship is sought cannot or cannot, in part, due to any specific physical, mental or cognitive condition, receive and evaluate information or communicate decisions to such an extent that the person lacks the capacity to meet the essential requirements of food, clothing, shelter, safety, or other care, so that serious physical injury, illness, or illness is likely to occur;. Guardianship of a minor, a person under the age of 18, generally rests with that person's parents. When looking for a lawyer for matters related to guardianship, conservatorship, or child custody, you should do some research on your options. Although it rarely occurs at best, there are several reasons why guardianship may be necessary.
The first step needed to establish a guardianship in Missouri is to determine if your loved one is truly incapacitated. Previously, the only distinction between a restricted guardianship and a general guardianship was that the ward maintained those rights. On this page, you will find the relevant statutes and relevant case law related to guardianship and conservatorship in MO. A durable power of attorney is a common alternative to guardianship that is less costly and less restrictive.
Based on that report, the judge can determine if there needs to be a change in your guardianship or conservatorship order. Fees vary, but a basic petition for guardianship or conservatorship can cost a few hundred dollars. Masterson Law staff have helped local families navigate challenging changes for decades and are ready to support you in court with compassionate, knowledgeable legal advice and advocacy. .