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Conservatorship Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri

When a person is unable to manage their personal or financial affairs due to incapacity, someone else needs authority from the court to assume responsibility for the incapacitated person. This is known as guardianship and conservatorship in Missouri and Kansas.  

When seeking a conservatorship for a loved one, you need to understand the basics, including the process of obtaining a conservatorship in your respective state, as well as your duties and responsibilities if you are appointed as a conservator. At The Probate Law Center, our conservatorship attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, helps clients navigate this process to get the authority they need to step in and protect their loved ones.  

We understand the importance of acting quickly to ensure that your vulnerable and incapacitated family members get the care and protection they need. We serve both the Missouri and Kansas residents of Kansas City, as well as the surrounding areas, including Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, and Independence.  

What Is a Conservatorship?  

Many people use the terms “guardianship” and “conservatorship” interchangeably. However, these two terms refer to two different legal proceedings in Missouri and Kansas: 

  1. Guardianship is used to provide protection for a person who is unable to make decisions regarding his or her personal affairs (e.g., food, housing, transportation, and health care).  

  1. Conservatorship is used to give one person (the conservator) authority to oversee and manage the assets and finances of another person (the conservatee).  

When a conservator is appointed, he or she has a responsibility to make reasonable efforts to: 

  • Prepare an inventory of the conservatee’s assets, finances, and liabilities;  

  • Identify the conservatee’s needs and preferences;  

  • Work closely with the guardian (unless the conservator is also a guardian) and family members of the conservatee;  

  • Develop a clear plan for the management of the conservatee’s assets and finances, which may include paying for housing, utility bills, healthcare, food, and other essentials (using the conservatee’s finances and assets, not their personal ones); and 

  • Report to the court annually or as often as required by the court to account for the income and payments made on behalf of the conservatee.  

While it is not unusual for one person to be both a guardian and a conservator, when appropriate, the court may appoint two different persons.  

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Who Requires Conservatorship? 

A conservatorship may be required in these two situations: 

  1. The conservatee is a minor. A person is considered a minor if he or she has not reached the age of majority, which is 18 in both Missouri and Kansas. However, since minors generally do not have their own financial affairs to take care of, a conservatorship may be necessary when the minor receives a sum of money greater than $10,000 as a gift, inheritance, or a court settlement. If that is the case, a conservator would be appointed to hold that amount of money on the conservatee’s behalf until the minor turns 18.  

  1. The conservatee is a disabled adult. A conservatorship may also be necessary when a disabled adult suffers from a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment that makes them unable to manage their financial affairs on their own. The conservator’s main duty is to oversee and manage the conservatee’s financial affairs in their best interests.  

A conservatorship is often necessary to prevent the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable persons who cannot make decisions about their money or property.  

What Is the Process of Obtaining a Conservatorship?  

The proposed conservator can initiate the conservatorship proceeding by filling out the appropriate forms and filing a petition with the court. The petition must include information about both the conservatee (the person deemed incapacitated) and the conservator (the person seeking a conservatorship), including their: 

  • name  

  • date of birth 

  • address 

  • relationship between the two individuals 

The petition must also detail why a conservatorship is sought, as well as outline what the conservator will be responsible for when managing the conservatee’s finances and assets. Once the petition is submitted, the court will set a date for a hearing to determine: 

  1. Whether a conservatorship is necessary; and 

  1. Who should be appointed to act as the conservator.  

At the hearing, the court will review the evidence presented by medical professionals, witnesses, and other interested parties. As the hearing concludes, the court will make a final decision to either grant or deny the petition for conservatorship: 

  • If the petition is denied, no conservator will be appointed. 

  • If the petition is granted, a conservator will be appointed, and the court will issue an order that contains a list of the conservator’s duties and responsibilities.  

When a petition for conservatorship is granted, the conservator will be required to submit a complete and accurate inventory of the conservatee’s assets and then file reports every year to account for how the conservatee’s financial affairs are managed. You might want to consider working with a conservatorship attorney to get help in preparing the petition and ensure your arguments are presented to the court in the most convincing manner possible.  

Conservatorship Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri 

If you have questions about seeking a conservatorship in Missouri or Kansas, contact The Probate Law Center. Our conservatorship attorney in Kansas City can help you understand the process and assist you at every step of the conservatorship proceeding. We will work vigorously to ensure that your rights and the interests of your loved one are protected and respected. Schedule a consultation today to get the guidance you can rely on.