Welcome to Mo-WINGS
Missouri’s Working Interdisciplinary Network Guardianship Stakeholders (MO-WINGS) group was established in the 2011 to address the previously enacted 1983 Guardianship and Conservatorship statute Chapter 475 RSMo. Based upon recommendations from national experts and advocates in Missouri, MO-WINGS was tasked with an extensive effort to update Missouri law for the 21st Century.
Guardianship reform, while receiving national attention and support, has been found to be best accomplished by ongoing state problem-solving multidisciplinary entities. The collective effort of MO-WINGS resulted in statutory changes to Missouri’s guardianship law in 2018.
Missouri’s current statute includes several important points:
- Least restrictive alternative meaning a course of action or an alternative that allows the incapacitated person to live, learn, and work with minimum restrictions on the person, as are appropriate for the person considering his or her physical and mental condition and financial means. (475.010)
- Rights of the ward include the right to contract to marry or petition for dissolution of marriage; to make, modify, or terminate other contracts or ratify contracts made by the ward; consent to medical treatment; to establish a residence or dwelling place; to change domicile; drive a motor vehicle if ward has passed the required driving test; vote. (475.361)
- Supported decision-making agreements as a form of least restrictive alternatives. National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making
- Petition the courts to restore, remove, terminate, and decrease powers of the guardian or conservator or to return rights to the ward. (475.083) Individuals with a guardian (called a "ward"), or someone on their behalf, can begin this process by writing a letter to the court.
Missouri’s revised guardianship statute has made way for important conversations and review of the use of guardians for adults across the state. However, in practice, the implementation of statutory changes have been unbalanced and data systems remain inconsistent.