If your elderly parent or disabled child can no longer manage their own affairs because of mental incapacity or physical deterioration, it may be necessary to intervene to take control of their personal affairs and health care.
If there is no durable power of attorney in place for just such a scenario, you will have to go to probate court to (a) have your loved one legally declared incompetent and (b) ask to be appointed the legal guardian and/or conservator.
At The Law Office of Cathy Steele, P.C., we provide experienced representation in these sensitive and sometimes hostile proceedings. We represent adult children, parents of special needs children, and other family members or caretakers seeking to establish guardianship or conservatorship. Based in Clayton, Missouri, our lawyer practices in probate courts of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Jefferson County. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Guardianship And Conservatorship
- A guardian is granted the authority to make decisions about the personal well-being of the individual. This can include decisions about medical care and treatment, placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and general responsibility for the individual's safety. A relative can also petition for guardianship of a minor whose parents are absent or unfit.
- A conservator has authority over the person's estate, including business affairs, personal finances, transactions, legal action and other issues relating to the person's finances and estate.
A judge may appoint one person for both roles, or separate persons. The judge can also place limits on the guardianship or conservatorship.
These hearings can be hotly contested. A child of 14 years or older has a say in who his or her guardian should be. Aging parents may disagree that they need a guardian or adamantly oppose being under the care of a specific individual. Siblings sometimes argue over who should be in charge of mom or dad's care (and money). Family members may seek to remove a guardian who is doing a poor job of supervising or not acting in the ward's best interests.
Attorney Cathy Steele has 35 years of experience in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. Her role is to present evidence to the court why her client is qualified for the appointment, or why another is unfit for the duty.
We know the law and take the time to understand the history of the situation and the family dynamics, so that we can advocate effectively and find the best solution for a vulnerable family member.
Call us today at 314-727-7551 for a free initial consultation, or contact us online. We can arrange evening or weekend appointments.