State Representative Jon Patterson is joining forces with Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to strengthen and continue building on the success of the MO ABLE program.

Representative Jon Patterson

Patterson this year filed HB 678, which clarifies that a conservatorship is not necessary for individuals or families using ABLE accounts, which are created with the purpose of helping Missouri’s disabled individuals and their family save money for disability-related expenses.

Patterson presented his bill before the House Committee on General Laws on Wednesday, explaining the provisions in Missouri’s ABLE Act only require an authorized legal representative—a parent, legal guardian, or a person granted a Power of Attorney—who is then empowered to act on behalf of the designated beneficiary without any other requirements.

Patterson filed this bill in a coordinated effort with the State Treasurer to address a recent court decision, which had ruled that families in that jurisdiction had to establish conservatorship to use the ABLE account and its benefits, meaning they would have go through the process of establishing conservatorship of the disabled individuals, even if they were already established with guardianships.

HB678 makes it clear that assets held in an ABLE account are not part of an estate under conservatorship law.

“ABLE accounts are an important program for Missouri’s disabled-individuals and their families,” Rep. Patterson said. “These requirements are unnecessary, and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bill so that this program can be utilized as intended.”

For more questions, call Rep. Patterson’s office at 573-751-0907.