Missouri Standby Guardianship Law


Missouri state guardianship laws define a standby guardian as an individual who is approved by the court to temporarily assume the duties of guardian to a minor child.

Accordingly, a parent of a minor may delegate to another individual, any of his or her powers regarding care or custody of the minor child, except his or her power to consent to marriage or adoption of the minor child by a properly executed power of attorney for a period not exceeding 1 year.

This law allows a seriously ill parent or legal guardian to make arrangements for the care, custody, and control of minor children by appointing a standby guardian in the event the parent becomes mentally or physically incapacitated or dies.  It also provides the standby guardian to temporarily assume the duties as legal guardian over a minor child to avoid placement of the children in foster care.  However, the authority of a standby guardian will not supersede the parental rights of either parent while they are alive, unless those rights have been legally terminated.

The court has the authority to appoint a standby guardian for a minor.  The appointment of a standby guardian becomes effective upon the disability, incapacitation, or death of an appointing parent or legal guardian.  In order to become effective, the standby guardian must file an acceptance of appointment within 30 days of the court’s confirmation.  Before the court confirms the appointee, the other parent or another person who has care and custody of the minor may file a written objection to the appointment of the standby guardian.  In the event a parent or guardian should die, the standby guardian may petition the court within 60 days to make a formal guardianship request.  An appointing parent or another interested party is allowed to petition the court to confirm the parent’s selection of a standby guardian and terminate the right of other individuals to object to the appointment of that individual as guardian.

A minor child who has completed 14 years of age and who is the subject of an appointment, the other parent, or another person who has care and custody of the minor is allowed to file a written objection to the appointment of the standby guardian.