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What Is The Difference Between Guardianship And Conservatorship in Missouri?

Guardianship is the legal process which determines a person’s mental and physical capacity to make decisions for themselves in regards to their personal affairs. A guardian, also known as a protectee, is someone appointed by a court to take care and have custody of a ward, such as a minor or a person with who isn’t capable of making their own decisions, granting a guardian the authority to decide personal affairs based on their best interest.

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Responsibilities of a guardian is to provide a ward with the following:

  • Care

  • Safety

  • Treatment

  • Welfare

Conservatorship resembles guardianship, but involves an individual’s ability to handle their own finances. Whether it’s a minor who has no living parents or a person who has been legally determined to be incapacitated, a conservator is court appointed to make financial decisions on that individual’s behalf. While some duties may be performed without approval or authorization from the court, other duties and expenditures need a specified court order.

Responsibilities of a conservator is to provide a ward with the following:

  • Accounting for property of the estate

  • Investing assets

  • Protecting and preserving their estate

Who Can Be Appointed as a Guardian or Conservator?

According to Missouri law, the court must first recognize someone either recommended by the incapacitated person when the initial hearing occurs, mentioned in previous legal document, or a relative.

Relatives are considered in the following order:

  • Spouse

  • Parents

  • Adult children

  • Adult brothers and sisters

  • Other relative

If no family member or friend is available, the public administrator of the county in which the person lives is generally chosen. While some restrictions apply, essentially any adult may be selected as guardian or conservator, even someone who isn’t a resident of Missouri.

Same rules apply when appointing a conservator. However, there is a possibility that various persons or entities, such as a trust company or bank, may be selected.

Legal Counsel from Our St. Charles Guardianship Lawyers

While most guardianship and conservatorship matters are typically uncontested, sometimes a conflict of interest arises between family members. When the best interest of a loved one is in jeopardy, our St. Charles guardianship attorneys are prepared to help. With over two decades of combined legal experience, we are dedicated to making sure your family is granted the best care.

For more information, contact us by calling (636) 400-1177 today.

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