If a person is no longer able to handle his or her own personal affairs, and thereby puts themselves or others in danger, a guardian can be appointed for the person in Oregon.
If a person is no longer able to handle his or her finances, and has income or assets which need management, a conservator can be appointed for the person in Oregon.
Normally the courts look first to the person’s closest relatives in these regards.
However, the law provides that if the person has left a writing saying who should handle these things, the court can appoint those named persons ahead of the persons that the statute would otherwise look to.
This can be very important if a person wants someone other than his or her closest relatives to take on one or both of these roles if this is ever needed.
This can also be very important if a person prefers to have some specific relative appointed and/or wants to be sure that some other relative is not appointed.
It is important to note that step children, step parents, and step siblings are NOT considered relatives in these circumstances. This is true even where the step parent has raised a child from infancy, or where a person thinks of a step parent as their mother, or thinks of a step sibling as their brother or sister. If a person wants a step child or a step sibling to handle his or her affairs if this is ever needed, a document nominating that step relative may be crucially important.
Steven A. Heinrich
Divorce & Custody
Wills, Guardians & Elder Law
- Wills, Trusts, and Probates
- Guardians and Conservators
- Elder Law
- When Should You See An Elder Law Attorney
- Substitute Decision Makers
- Overview of Guardianships, Trusts, and Health Care Documents
- Finances and Business
- Health Care Documents
- Guardianships and Conservatorships