If you are the parent of an adult disabled child or the family member of an elderly individual in declining health, you may need to consider petitioning the court for conservatorship over the individual at some point in time. As in many states, Oregon separates the duties of a guardian and those of a conservator. A conservator has control over the finances, money, and property of the protected person while a guardian has control over the personal affairs of the protected person.
Before a court will approve the appointment of a conservator, the court must be convinced that the individual is incapacitated. In the case of a conservator, incapacitation under the Oregon Code is a defined as “a condition in which a person is unable to manage financial resources of the person effectively for reasons including, but not limited to, mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs or controlled substances, chronic intoxication, confinement, detention by a foreign power, or disappearance.”
In order to be appointed as a conservator, you must first petition the Probate Court. After proper notification has been given to all required parties, the court will conduct a hearing. At the hearing, the court will determine if the individual needs a conservator and, if so, whether or not to approve your petition to be appointed as the conservator. If appointed, the role of conservator carries with it numerous duties, all of which must be carried out under court supervision.