Guardianships

Kansas City, MO Guardianship Attorney

When you think of guardianship, you may picture a godparent appointed to care for a child in the event of his or her parents’ passing. Regardless of age, though, appointing a guardian or conservator is important.

For example, what becomes of your healthcare and finances if you cannot handle essential responsibilities? If an unforeseen circumstance renders you incapable of paying bills or taking care of yourself physically, who will take over? Determining who is capable and willing to handle these duties is an essential part of estate planning. In these examples, whoever is appointed a guardianship over you will be accountable for decisions regarding your wellbeing. If no one was appointed beforehand, the family must go to court to determine the care guardian.

Who Needs a Guardianship or Conservatorship?

Those who will benefit from having an appointed guardian or conservator in place include:

  • Adult children with special needs
  • Mentally disabled loved ones or individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Elderly persons who are incapacitated

Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Dodson for more information on guardianships. I am committed to providing the best counsel possible, and I will give you the hands-on commitment you need to process an estate plan that reflects all of your wishes – including guardianship.

What Happens If I Did Not Appoint a Guardian or Conservator?

Ideally, you will have appointed a loved one in an estate plan to handle future decisions in the event of your incapacitation. However, given the nature of tragic events, this may not have been addressed. In this case, your family must follow court processes to determine guardianship or conservators. Our legal team can help you through this situation; we can help you through the court process, answering questions and mitigating any issues that may come up along the way. 

Guardians vs. Conservators

Guardianships and conservators can be appointed for any person. A guardianship gives an individual the power to manage a person’s decisions – from managing medical treatment to financial obligations and personal needs. On the other hand, a conservator is given exclusive power over your financial affairs, including estate planning, litigation, and any other concerns related to income and assets.

Establish Guardianship with a Kansas City, MO Attorney

The process of appointing a guardian takes patience, compassion, and careful decision making. Contact me for a free consultation to navigate the appointment process. State required documents, like medical releases and court filings, need to be collected and submitted. Also, consider these items based on individual needs of a Kansas City, MO guardian:

  • For minors with developmental disabilities (a child under the age of 18), it is important to appoint a guardian or conservator as soon as possible. Once he or she becomes a legal adult, even with a developmental disability, you can no longer obtain important information or make decisions without his or her consent. Work with an attorney to become his or her legal guardian and conservator to preserve these rights.
  • For the elderly or adults with disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s or a comparable incapacitating condition, you may need to work with an appointed guardian ad litem. This individual is selected by the court, and he or she will assess the capability of the proposed guardian. The court may also appoint an attorney ad litem for the disabled individual. If approved by the court, the guardian must submit an annual report highlighting financial, medical, and other assistance provided. 

Establishing a guardianship in Kansas City, MO is not always a smooth process. Addressing the needs of a loved one who cannot care for him or herself can be exhausting, especially when faced with court proceedings. Reach out to the team at the Law Office of Jennifer Dodson for a thorough review of what you need.

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