If a person is “financially incapable,” an Oregon court can appoint a conservator upon the petition of an interested person. A person for whom a conservator has been appointed is known as a “protected person.” A conservator must take possession and control of substantially all of the protected person’s assets and is charged with administering them. A conservator must account to the protected person and to the court not less than annually. A conservator is entitled to seek compensation, and a conservator is frequently represented by an attorney who is also entitled to seek compensation.
If a person is “incapacitated,” an Oregon court can also appoint a guardian upon the petition of an interested person. A guardian acquires authority over the person of the protected person, and a guardian can make various decisions, including where the protected person will live and health care choices.
Protective proceedings often include a request for the appointment of both a guardian and conservator. In some instances, the guardian and conservator will be the same person, but in other instances they can be separate.
Oregon law provides a complex statutory scheme that controls these proceedings. They are often necessary if a person has dementia, or if a person is vulnerable to abuse and has assets that need to be protected, or in any circumstance where a person would benefit from the services of a conservator or guardian.