The Difference Between Conservator & Guardian:
In the state of Missouri, a conservatorship is a legal process similar to a guardianship; however, it deals only with the financial affairs of an individual who has been deemed disabled or incompetent. The conservator has the authority to take charge of and manage the protectee’s property and money. A conservator has no authority to make decisions regarding another individual’s personal affairs. Only a guardian has the power to make such decisions. A person may be both guardian and conservator for an individual who is adjudged incapacitated or disabled.
A conservator is a person or corporation appointed by the probate court to care for and to oversee the property and the financial affairs of a minor or adult person with a disability. A limited conservator is a person whose duties and powers are limited by the court. A conservator is not automatically a protectee’s representative payee for Social Security insurance or benefits. A protectee is a person for whom a conservator or limited conservator has been appointed.
Any interested person may petition to become the guardian or conservator of an individual who is alleged to be incapacitated, and, if so appointed by the judge, may serve in that capacity. The Missouri guardianship statues are designed to tailor guardianship and conservatorship to meet the specific individual needs of a proposed ward or protectee. They recognize that persons who are incapacitated or disabled have different abilities in different areas.
For example, a person who has mild mental disabilities may forget about taking medication and need a limited guardian to help with the task, or an elderly person may have trouble balancing his or her checkbook and need a conservator to help manage their money. Missouri Law provides for limited guardianship and limited conservatorship, as well as full guardianship and full conservatorship. With a limited guardianship or a limited conservatorship, the ward or protectee retains certain legal rights and freedoms.
Facts to consider regarding conservatorships:
- A conservatorship must continue until there is a court order in place relieving a conservator of his or her duties.
- Conservatorships can be expensive and time consuming.
- Candidates for conservatorships can be those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, head injuries, other serious injuries or terminal illnesses, or minors who have assets.
To have your questions answered regarding conservatorship, contact Bezler Law Firm today.