Guardian and Conservator Services
When a person is incapacitated such that they are unable to manage their affairs, a court may appoint someone to do it for them. In Oregon, the court may appoint either a guardian or a conservator to represent the protected person. A guardian manages health and personal care decisions, and decisions about where the protected person is going to live. A conservator manages the protected person’s finances. The power of a guardian or conservator is expressly limited to that which is specifically stated in the court order. Both a guardian and a conservator must file reports with the court and must obtain court approval before taking certain actions, such as changing the person’s residence or selling their house.
As a guardian, my decision-making process will focus on promoting and protecting my client’s well-being and dignity. I will promote social interactions and meaningful relationships consistent with my client’s preferences, unless doing so would cause them substantial harm. I will always consider my client’s wishes and previously-established values in making decisions for them. If I am unable to determine my client’s wishes, I will make the decision that is in his or her best interest.
As a conservator, I will take responsibility for my client’s finances. After my appointment, I will meet with the client and other people who have information about the client’s assets and wishes. I will then marshal the client’s assets and learn all I can about the client’s values regarding financial matters. I will take an initial inventory of the assets and submit a report to the court. I will then develop and implement a financial plan and budget for the client that corresponds with the client’s care plan and which aims to address the client’s goals, needs and preferences. I will also submit an annual accounting to the court detailing all assets, income and expenditures.