Guardianships And Conservatorships

At Weber Elder Law Offices, we are proud to help individuals and families navigate the legal system, utilize its resources and get the help they need to live as fully as possible. Sometimes, this means seeking restrictions on a person's autonomy if he or she can no longer function independently.

Basic Terminology

In both Kansas and Missouri, guardianship and conservatorship are legal tools designed to address the needs of incapacitated individuals. Guardian of the person is a designation that gives you control over another person's medical and personal decisions (such as where to live). Being named conservator of the estate gives you authority over another person's finances and legal decisions.

The two roles are sometimes assigned to the same person and sometimes to different people. Often, however, the term "guardianship" is used as a shorthand for both.

If you need to seek guardianship or conservatorship for a loved one, attorney Karen H. Weber can assist you. We strive to make the process as painless and stress-free as possible for everyone involved.

When Is Guardianship Appropriate?

A guardian is someone who looks after the affairs of an adult who cannot look after his own affairs — usually due to mental incapacity.

It is common for individuals to seek guardianship for an aging parent or another loved one who may be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. This is the scenario most people think of when they hear the word guardianship, and it is one our firm encounters regularly.

But we are also passionate about helping parents continue to care for their children with special needs as those children reach adulthood. When kids are under age 18, they are assumed to be under the legal care and authority of their parents. When they reach adulthood, however, they automatically gain legal autonomy. If you have a son or daughter who will need lifelong care because of mental incapacity, we can help you seek guardianship when your child reaches age 18.

Can The Need For Guardianship And Conservatorship Be Avoided?

Guardianship is a major responsibility, and one that can be emotionally and ethically fraught. The person subject to guardianship may not agree that he or she needs one, or may not approve of the person seeking guardianship.

The best way to avoid this type of situation is to designate power of attorney in your estate planning documents. That way, if you ever do become impaired and unable to tend to your own affairs, you will have already appointed a trusted individual to serve as power of attorney, eliminating the need for a guardian or conservator.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Legal Options

Weber Elder Law Offices is located in Overland Park. We proudly serve clients throughout Kansas and Missouri. To discuss your case with a lawyer who really listens, call us at 913-624-9366 or send us an email.