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How to Get Guardianship in Missouri

How to Get Guardianship in Missouri: A Comprehensive Guide

Guardianship is a legal arrangement where a person is appointed to take care of the personal and financial affairs of another individual who is unable to do so themselves. In Missouri, the process of obtaining guardianship involves several steps and can be complex. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to get guardianship in Missouri, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Understand the Types of Guardianship in Missouri

Before proceeding with the guardianship process, it is crucial to understand the different types of guardianship available in Missouri. The two main types are:

1. Guardian of the Person: A guardian appointed to make decisions about the personal well-being and healthcare of an individual.

2. Guardian of the Estate: A guardian appointed to manage the financial affairs and assets of an individual.

In some cases, a person may be appointed as both the guardian of the person and the estate.

Step 2: Determine the Need for Guardianship

The next step is to determine whether guardianship is necessary. Guardianship is typically sought for individuals who are minors, individuals with disabilities, or elderly individuals who are unable to make decisions or care for themselves.

Step 3: File a Petition for Guardianship

To initiate the guardianship process, the petitioner must file a petition in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court in the county where the individual resides. The petition must include information about the proposed guardian, the individual in need of guardianship, and the reasons why guardianship is necessary.

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Step 4: Provide Notice to Interested Parties

Once the petition is filed, the court will require the petitioner to provide notice to interested parties. Interested parties may include the individual in need of guardianship, their parents, spouse, children, and any other person who may have a significant interest in the proceedings.

Step 5: Attend a Hearing

After providing notice to interested parties, a hearing will be scheduled. During the hearing, the court will evaluate the evidence presented, including testimony from the petitioner and interested parties. The court will make a determination based on the best interests of the individual in need of guardianship.

Step 6: Obtain Letters of Guardianship

If the court determines that guardianship is necessary, the petitioner will be issued Letters of Guardianship. These letters serve as proof of the guardian’s authority and allow them to make decisions on behalf of the individual.


Q: Who can be appointed as a guardian in Missouri?

A: Any competent person over the age of 18 can be appointed as a guardian in Missouri. However, the court will consider the individual’s ability to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a guardian.

Q: Can a guardian be removed or replaced?

A: Yes, a guardian can be removed or replaced if it is determined that they are no longer able to fulfill their duties or if there is evidence of neglect or abuse.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a guardian in Missouri?

A: The responsibilities of a guardian may include making decisions about healthcare, education, and personal well-being, managing finances and assets, and ensuring the overall welfare of the individual.

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Q: Is guardianship permanent?

A: Guardianship in Missouri can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Temporary guardianship may be granted if the individual’s incapacity is expected to improve over time.

Q: Can guardianship be challenged?

A: Yes, interested parties may challenge a guardianship appointment if they believe it is not in the best interests of the individual or if there are concerns about the guardian’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities.

In conclusion, obtaining guardianship in Missouri involves a comprehensive process that requires careful consideration and adherence to legal requirements. It is recommended to consult with an attorney specializing in guardianship law to ensure a smooth and successful guardianship application.

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