What is Guardianship?

A guardian is a person appointed to care for the health and welfare of another who is not able to, usually minor children, special needs dependents, or senior citizens with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other infirmities.

Who will be guardian? If you have minor children or a special needs dependent, it is crucial to appoint a guardian yourself before they are needed. If you do not, the court will hear from a number of people and choose someone who may not be the person you want to be in charge of your child or dependent, or even yourself.

A guardian undertakes serious duties and responsibilities that are required by the laws of Oregon. Chapter 125 of the Oregon Revised Statutes governs guardianships and outlines those responsibilities.

A guardian must among other things:

  • Promptly report to the court any change of the guardian’s name, residence, or mailing address.
  • Follow the laws about being a guardian (see ORS Chapter 125).
  • File a guardian’s report every year.
  • Get court approval before using the protected person’s funds for room and board that the guardian or the guardian’s spouse, parent, or child have furnished to the protected person.
  • File a statement with the court and notify the protected person before placing an adult protected person in a residential facility.
  • Tell the court if the guardianship is no longer needed because the protected person has died or for other reasons.

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