Guardians and conservators are appointed to protect people who cannot make decisions without assistance. This could be a minor child or an adult who is incapacitated. In Kansas and Missouri, a guardian is authorized to make personal and heath care decisions while a conservator is authorized to make financial decisions.
A guardian’s authority can be broad or rather limited. For example, in addition to making general heath care and personal decisions, a guardian may be authorized to determine whether the person in question can have visitors, attend social gatherings and more. Similarly, the authority of a conservator can be broad or limited. The extent of the guardian’s or conservator’s authority falls under the purview of the probate court.
Without proper planning, the court will appoint a guardian and conservator. This could be someone you never would have wanted to make important decisions for your minor children or for yourself in the event of incapacity. In addition, the guardianship and conservatorship process can take a very long time and cost a great deal of money. Family disputes often arise over who should be named guardian or conservator, leading to hard feelings that can last a lifetime.
At Stockton & Stern, LLC, we can use a number of tools and strategies to avoid guardianship and/or conservatorship proceedings. These include powers of attorney, living wills, trusts, and in the case of minors, naming a guardian and conservator in a last will and testament. However, if you are currently faced with a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding involving a minor or incapacitated loved one, you do not have to go through it alone. We are here to guide you every step of the way while protecting your interests and those of your loved one.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your needs and goals.