Missouri

Guardianship Laws

Adult Guardianship Statute: 

Mo. Rev. Stat. 473.730; .743; .747; .750; 475.010 to .480

Right to Counsel in Statute: Initial Guardianship Proceedings: 
Yes
Right to Counsel in Statute: Post-Appointment Guardianship Proceedings: 
Not stated
Right to Counsel Statututory Citation: 

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 475.075(3)

Right to Counsel Definition in Statute: 

The court shall immediately appoint a counsel upon filing of petition for appointment of a guardian.

Advocacy Role of Counsel Defined in Statute: 
Yes
Advocacy Role of Counsel Definition in Statute: 

The court-appointed counsel must visit the client, if the client is capable of understanding the matter in question or of contributing to the advancement of the client's interest, the attorney shall obtain from the client all possible aid. If the disability of a client compels the attorney to make decision for the client, the attorney shall consider all circumstances then prevailing and act with care to safeguard and advance the interests of the client.

Professional Rules &/or Ethics Opinions: 

dentical to model rule. "When a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client." Supreme Court Rules of Prof. Conduct Rule 4-1.14(a). "A client with diminished capacity often has the ability to understand, deliberate upon, and reach conclusions about matters affecting client's own well-being." Id. at Comment 1. "The fact that a client suffers a disability does not diminish the lawyer's obligation to treat the client with attention and respect. Even if the person has a legal representative, the lawyer should as far as possible accord the represented person the status of client, particularly in maintaining communication." Id. at comment 2. "[T]he lawyer must keep the client’s interests foremost and, except for protective action authorized under paragraph (b), must look to the client, and not family members, to make decisions on the client’s behalf." Id. at Comment 3. "If a legal representative has already been appointed for the client, the lawyer should ordinarily look to the representative for decisions on behalf of the client." Id. comment 4. No relevant ethics opinions. But see Informal Advisory Opinions 990095, 960169, 950178, 950078 on the permissibility of an attorney initiating commitment or guardianship procedures for his client.

Other Case Law: 

When counsel for an proposed ward indicates a desire to waive a right granted under 475.075(8), the trial court cannot presume the waiver is authorized or appropriate, the court must make a determination as to whether the waiver is authorized. In re Link, 713 SW2d 487, 496 (Mo. 1986).

Discuss Guardianship or Supported Decision-Making?: 
Yes
Web Resources: