Conservatorships are governed by Chapter 125 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. They’re ordered pursuant to petitions when adults can no longer effectively manage their money and finances due to physical or mental impairment. After a petition is filed to order a conservatorship, the allegedly impaired person must be served with copies of all appropriate documents so that he or she has the opportunity to object. Those documents must also be served on his or her closest relatives, and they must be given the opportunity to object too.
When a court order appointing a conservator is drafted, the financial issues involving the impaired adult are specifically identified, and the conservatorship’s duties relative to those financial issues are detailed in the order.
A conservator acts in what the law calls a fiduciary capacity. In that capacity, he or she owes the conservatee a high degree of care and honesty. He or she must collect, manage and expend funds solely for the benefit and the best interests of the conservatee. A court might give a conservator complete control over an incapacitated adult’s finances. In other cases, the conservatorship might be more limited. The impaired person’s ability to convey real estate or deal with investment accounts might likewise be restricted too. A conservatorship’s annual report providing a full and complete accounting of all sums received and expended is required to be filed.
The conservator must be qualified to fulfill his or her obligations, and a bond is required to be posted to assure that the impaired person’s money remains safe. Sometimes a judge might even appoint a professional conservator to the office. Should the condition of the conservatee improve over time, he or she can petition that the conservatorship be terminated. Should the conservatee die during the course of a court ordered conservatorship, the funds maintained by the conservator are distributed pursuant to either the decedent’s estate plan or the law of intestate succession.
Many conservators maintain a professional relationship with an attorney. The Barbur Law Office in Milwaukie Oregon is available for drafting petitions for conservatorships and representation in court hearings on them. We’ll stay on call for the conservator for as long as we’re needed. Contact the Barbur Law Firm in Milwaukie Oregon with any questions you have about maintaining and protecting the finances of an impaired adult.