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MO Guardianship: Understanding Your Options & Alternatives

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1 MO Guardianship: Understanding Your Options & Alternatives
This project is sponsored by the Missouri Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities (MPCDD) Developed by: UMKC Institute for Human Development (UCEDD) 215 W. Pershing, 6thFloor Kansas City, MO (816) In collaboration with: Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services and People First of Missouri

2 Jane St. John University of Missouri, Kansas City – Institute for Human Development, UCEDD Individual Advocacy and Family Support Mom to Ben & Matt

3 Goal: To empower individuals with developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs, their families, and key supporters to make informed decisions as they consider options and alternatives for achieving an appropriate level of support and/or protection.

4 Why are you thinking about guardianship for support and/or protection?

5 Common Responses A child with a developmental disability or special healthcare need is about to reach the age of 18 Been told by a school administrator, teacher, service provider or other professional that they need guardianship to maintain their rights to provide support and/or protection for someone they care about Being pressured by someone to file for guardianship Worried about the well-being of someone they care about Feel that someone they care about is at risk of being taken advantage of Because someone they care for or someone they work with is experiencing a difficult time.

6 Helping you understand how to:
Objectives: Helping you understand how to: 1. BALANCE SUPPORT & PROTECTION with autonomy and self-determination. 2. IDENTIFY OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES to full/plenary guardianship for the appropriate level of decision-making support and/or protection. 3. ACCESS ALTERNATIVES TO GUARDIANSHIP, as well as accessing Missouri courts to pursue guardianship options.

7 Protection & Assistance with
Balancing Protection & Assistance with Autonomy & Self-Determination


9 “Every person can make choices and has a right to make decisions.
~ Dohn Hoyle, The Arc of Michigan

10 It is important to remember that all adults are presumed competent to make choices about their lives. Sometimes, because of limited cognitive or communication skills, a person may need help making or expressing decisions.

11 Making person-centered decisions…
Involves a support group/team of family members, friends, professionals and most importantly, the individual. Individual chooses the members. Individual identifies areas in which the individual may need assistance and support and decide how the team/support group can help meet those needs.

12 makes that person vulnerable and deprives him/her not only
“Any legal system or proceeding which deprives an individual of her/his right to be accommodated and supported in choosing and making decisions, and which appoints a substitute decision-maker based on tests of competence, makes that person vulnerable and deprives him/her not only of his/her right to self-determination, but also of other rights…” ~ Dohn Hoyle, The Arc of Michigan

13 Missouri Revised Statutes
What is Guardianship? Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 475 Probate Code--Guardianship (6) "Guardian", one appointed by a court to have the care and custody of the person of a minor or of an incapacitated person. A "limited guardian" is one whose duties or powers are limited. The term "guardian", as used in this chapter, includes "limited guardian" unless otherwise specified or apparent from the context;

14 Plenary or “Full” Guardianship
where to live who they live with who they associate with where they may go in the community whether or not to marry whether or not to work how to spend money right to vote who provides personal care consent or object to medical care enter into contracts (such as home ownership, rental agreements, marriage) obtain a driver’s license

15 How did I know if Ben needed support and/or protection?

Employment Money Management Health & Nutrition Relationships Personal Safety Community Living Personal Decision-Making Determining & Directing Services and Supports

17 Ben’s Story…



20 What are my alternatives & options?

21 Is there an appropriate alternative for my specific need for support and/or protection?

22 GENERAL SUPPORTS Friends & Family Advocacy Organizations
Community Supports Systems Supports

Personal Contract/Agency Agreement Power of Attorney Health Care Power of Attorney

24 MONEY MANAGEMENT Limited and/or Joint Bank Accounts, Direct Deposit, and Automatic Bill Pay Living Trust Special Needs Trust

25 PERSONAL SAFETY Adult Protective Services Protection Order/TRO

26 Accessing the ALTERNATIVES
to Guardianship

27 What can you access on your own?
Friends/Family Advisors/Advocacy Organizations Community Supports Representative Payee Limited and/or Joint Bank Accounts Direct Deposit and Automatic Bill Pay Protection Orders (TRO) Personal Contract/Agency Agreement

28 What might you need an attorney to access?
Durable Power of Attorney Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Living Will Living Trust Special Needs Trust Adult Protective Services Limited Guardianship Full/Plenary Guardianship

29 Plenary /Full Guardianship
GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS Plenary /Full Guardianship or Limited Guardianship

30 What is the process for filing for guardianship or to make a change in guardianship status?

31 Which court should the petition be filed in?
Filed with clerk of court in the county where you live: Petition Form Cost

32 Who can file? Parent or family member
Person with disability or special healthcare need Potential Guardian Someone who is responsible for the person’s care A facility providing care, like a hospital or nursing home ANY other interested party

33 What will the court do? Send notices
Schedule a hearing Send notices Order medical and/or psychological evaluation May appoint an attorney and/or guardian ad litem Question ward, proposed guardian, and witnesses

34 What information do I need to have ready to give my attorney in order to achieve the desired outcome? X.

35 Does the court have to follow my instructions and/or request for who is to be appointed guardian?
Not necessarily. The final decision rests with the court. The court will appoint your nominee if it determines that he or she is eligible to act and would serve in the ward’s best interest.

36 What will the Court do? Write an Order including the following findings of fact: The extent of your physical and/or mental incapacity to care for yourself; The extent of your physical and/or mental disability to manage your finances Whether or not you require placement in a supervised living situation, and, if so, the level of supervision you need; and Whether or not you need supervision to manage your finances, and, if so, the level of supervision you need.

37 What will the Court do? (cont.)
Depending upon your level of incapacitation or disability as determined above, the Court will then Order: The appointment of a Guardian or Conservator ad litem; The appointment of a Limited Guardian and/or Limited Conservator; or The appointment of a Full Guardian and/or Full Conservator.

38 Guardianship Duties and Powers
Place you in your least restrictive environment; Provide your medical care; Promote your care, comfort, health, safety and welfare; Provide consent on your behalf; and Exercise power to ensure you receive all of the above Protect, preserve and manage your estate; Invest your assets prudently; Account for your property; Perform all other duties required by law; and Upon termination, surrender your assets.

39 Where do I get more information?
MO Guardianship: Understanding Your Options and Alternatives Resource Guide

40 MO Protection & Advocacy Services
Jefferson City Office (Administration) 925 S. Country Club Drive Jefferson City, MO Tel: / Fax: Jefferson City Office (Application Unit) 925 S. Country Club Drive Jefferson City, MO Tel: / Fax: St. Louis Office 1992 Innerbelt Business Center Drive Overland, MO Tel: / Kansas City Office 3100 Main Street, Suite 207 Kansas City, MO Tel: / Fulton Office P.O. Box 6187 Fulton, MO Tel: (JC office X-20)

41 UMKC Institute for Human Development
UMKC Institute for Human Development, UCEDD 215 W. Pershing, 6th Floor Kansas City, Missouri Phone TTY Fax Mo. Family to Family Resource Center

42 Options & Alternatives Thank you for participating!
MO Guardianship: Understanding Your Options & Alternatives Thank you for participating!

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