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Public Administrator,
Cathy Richards

Functions

Appointment

Responsibilities

Guardian/
Conservator Appointment Process

State Statutory Responsibilities

Mental Health
Advisory Board

Fund for Client Healthcare Needs

Functions of the Public Administrator

Please note: People that are "wards" of the court are also referred to as proctectees and clients.

Functions:

Public Administrators are appointed by the Missouri Circuit Court, Probate Division, to serve primarily three types of cases:

Mission:

To improve the quality of life for those under the guardianship of the Public Administrator, and protecting the ward's autonomy and self-respect at all times. The ward shall be encouraged to participate in decision-making. The Public Administrator and her employees shall use informed consent when making decisions on behalf of the ward. Employees under the Public Administrator shall follow the National Guardianship Association's Code of Ethics and exercise the highest degree of trust and loyalty when making decisions for the ward/client.

Case Load:

Boone County's Public Administrator's Office presently carries an open case load of around 400. Clients reside in Boone County or, for various reasons, other areas of the State and in several other states, as well. Note: This is because some facilities may be better equipped to administer to clients with special needs and it is important to try and locate clients near family. Of the some 400 ward/clients under guardian and/or conservatorship, approximately 78% have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Staff:

The staff includes two deputy Public Administrators. These employees are deputized by the probate court at the request of the Public Administrator to perform such duties in her place as outlined in each individual deputy's certified appointment documents. This is especially important since the Public Administrator or one of her deputies must be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The remaining employees perform various accounting, clerical, reception, and maintenance duties.

Bonding:

When an estate contains $25,000 or more of *unrestricted assets, an individual estate surety bond is purchased out of the estate's checking account. The volume of estates under the $25,000 threshold requires Boone County's Public Administrator, to post a public official bond in the amount of $500,000. The Missouri Statues give the Probate Court the authority to set the bond of the Public Administrator.

*unrestricted asset - assets / resources which are not restricted for use by legal or contractual requirements and may be used for any purpose

Special thanks to Carolyn Vienhage, retired Public Administrator for Green County, for her contribution of information.

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www.ShowMeBoone.com Boone County, Missouri.  801 East Walnut Columbia, MO 65201 USA