Beginning January 2018, the process for the Public Administrator to be appointed Guardian/
Conservator for an individual has changed.

Please keep in mind that a family member or close friend is the preference of the Court to serve as
Guardian/ Conservator for a person that may be incapacitated or disabled. If no such individuals
are willing/ able to serve, an outside interested party should hire an attorney to petition the Court
for either Guardian and/ or Conservator.

The Public Administrator can be named as the proposed Guardian/ Conservator for an individual in
the petition filed with the Court. Please keep in mind that a Public Administrator, in most cases is
not an Attorney, but may hire one for an appointed Wards Case. Public Administrators charge
annual fees to the appointed Wards Estate to pay back the County for their services.

If the Public Administrator is the proposed Guardian/ Conservator, please complete the Intake
Form and contact an Attorney to commence with the process in the proper jurisdiction.

The Public Administrator’s Office was actually established in 1880 by the
General Assembly, State of Missouri, as an elective office, such election to be
held every four years. The Office follows the statues in the Probate Code, to
carry out the duties and responsibilities of the office. The Association of Public
Administrators was later established in March, 1981.
     The Missouri Association of Public Administrators is made up of the County
Public Administrators from each county in Missouri. These are elected
positions. The elected offices are up for election every four years.
     Public Administrators serve as court appointed Personal
Representatives in decedent’s estates, and as guardians and/or conservators
for individuals who are unable to care for themselves or their property when
there is no one else to serve.
Guardianship/Conservatorships should be taken up by the Court of jurisdiction
of the persons last known address not the County of which they were moved
by a hospital or a family member. Example: Individual rented or owned
property in Greene County, and was later moved to a Skilled Nursing Facility
in Polk County. Greene County was their last known address and is the
proper jurisdiction.


The Public Administrator is charged with providing for each ward’s care, treatment, habilitation,
education, support, and maintenance. Annual reports are filed with the probate court.

The Public Administrator expends protectees’ funds for purposes authorized by statute or court
order, and safeguards all of their assets. Annual reports are filed with the probate court.

For Courtdesignated deceased estates, the Public Administrator serves as Personal Representative,
and concludes decedents’ affairs, under the supervision of the probate court.

Some individuals under Guardianship also require help paying bills. As their Representative Payee,
a Payee Organization like or the Public Administrator can provide this service. An annual
reporting is made to Social Security. You may also contact the Social Security office for other Payee
Representative options.



Guardianship and Conservatorship is a legal process used when a person can no longer
make safe and/or sound decisions about his or her person and/or property and may fall victim to
fraud or improper influence.

Petitioning for Guardianship will remove individual rights, and it should only be
considered after other alternatives to guardianship have been explored and proven to be

A Guardian is a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another, called a
ward. The Conservator is appointed by a court to manage the estate of another called a
protectee. Often the same person serves as both the guardian and conservator