Daughter brought action requesting appointment of conservator for her father, who was 87 years old, suffered from dementia, memory loss, and confusion. He believed there was gold buried on farm property he sought to purchase.
Following a jury trial, the Circuit Court, Clay County, Larry Dale Harman, J., appointed the Public Administrator as conservator for father. Father appealed.
The evidence was insufficient to support finding that father was disabled with respect to financial decisions, and thus, appointment of conservator was not warranted. Reversed and remanded. The court held that under V.A.M.S. § 475.030(1), the primary responsibility of a conservator is to provide financial assistance to a disabled person. The burden of proving that the person is disabled is on the petitioner claiming that a conservator needs to be appointed. V.A.M.S. § 475.010(4)(a), 11. A determination of whether to appoint a conservator is based on the condition of the person at the time of the trial.
Here, evidence was insufficient to support a finding that the father was disabled with respect to financial decisions, and thus, appointment of conservator was not warranted; although evidence showed that father, who was 87 years old, suffered from dementia, memory loss, and confusion, and that he believed there was gold buried on farm property he sought to purchase, none of the evidence presented indicated that father was incapable of managing or communicating about his finances due to physical or mental condition.
The court held that memory loss and old age alone are insufficient to justify the appointment of a conservator. V.A.M.S. § 475.030(1).