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What is a Public Administrator?

The Clay County Public Administrator is a county elected official. Once elected, the Public Administrator is appointed by the probate court to manage the affairs of an individual in one of the following roles:

  • A Guardian is charged with the duty of managing all affairs of a disabled individual, called wards
  • A Conservator is charged with the duty of managing the financial matters of an incapacitated individual or a minor child, called protectees
  • A Personal Representative is charged with the duty of administrating the estate of a deceased person

The Public Administrator does what is in the best interest of its wards or estates. The office carries out the duties and responsibilities set for it in the Missouri Revised Statutes by closely following the statutes in the Probate Code, Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapters 473 and 475.

When does the Public Administrator usually get involved?

Only the probate court can decide if an individual needs a guardian and/or conservator because it removes the right of a person to make his or her own decisions. The court must also rule to open a personal representative estate or if a minor child needs a conservator to manage their financial affairs.
Although the Public Administrator is widely considered a last resort, any family member, hospital, government agency, or creditor, with the assistance of a probate attorney, can file an application with the court requesting that the Public Administrator be appointed as guardian and/or conservator or personal representative:

  • Although some wards and deceased individuals do not have living family, many times their family is unwilling or unable to serve as guardian, conservator, or personal representative.
  • If there are competing applications for one of these court-appointed positions, many times the court will appoint the Public Administrator instead of a family member.
  • Additionally, the Public Administrator can be appointed when the previous guardian, conservator, or personal representative is removed. This most often occurs when the previous court-appointed representative did not complete the required paperwork.

Who does the Public Administrator work with?

The Public Administrator serves some of the most vulnerable populations of Clay County citizens:

  • Elderly
  • Mentally ill
  • Developmentally disabled

About Us

There are approximately 350 people in Clay County, Missouri under guardianship and conservatorship with the Public Administrator's Office.


This page contains useful information such as facilities, attorney, estate etc.

Important Numbers

Important and useful phone numbers

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