conservatorship | guardianship

When it comes to caring for and protecting vulnerable individuals who are unable to make decisions or manage their affairs, conservatorships and guardianships play a vital role.

Conservatorships and guardianships are legal arrangements established by the court to protect the interests of individuals who are deemed incapacitated or unable to make decisions regarding their personal care or finances. While the terms “conservatorship” and “guardianship” are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings in Missouri law. They can apply to adults as well as minors.

A conservatorship primarily focuses on managing and protecting the financial affairs and property of an incapacitated individual, referred to as the “protected person.” It involves appointing a conservator who assumes responsibility for making financial decisions, paying bills, managing investments, and ensuring the protected person’s financial well-being.

On the other hand, a guardianship pertains to the personal care and well-being of an individual who is unable to make decisions regarding their health, living arrangements, or daily activities. The court appoints a guardian, who may be responsible for making medical decisions, arranging housing, ensuring the individual’s safety, and meeting their daily needs.

Establishing a conservatorship or guardianship in Missouri involves a court proceeding. The interested party, often a family member or concerned individual, files a petition with the court, which initiates the process.

During the court proceeding, the judge evaluates evidence, including medical assessments, testimony, and other relevant information, to determine whether a conservatorship or guardianship is necessary and who should be appointed to fulfill these roles. Once a conservator or guardian is appointed, they have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the protected person.

It is important to note that conservatorships and guardianships are significant legal responsibilities that can have a profound impact on the lives of both the protected person and the appointed conservator or guardian. Jim Knappenberger approaches each case with empathy and dedication, providing support and guidance to families throughout the process. He helps his clients understand their rights, obligations, and options, ensuring that the vulnerable individual’s well-being is at the forefront of all decisions made.