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Duties of a Guardian

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:

  • Promptly report to the court any change of the guardian's name, residence, or mailing address.
  • Follow the laws about being a guardian (see Chapter 125).
  • File a guardian's report every year (explained below).
  • 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 (explained below).
  • Tell the court if the guardianship is no longer needed because the protected person has died or for other reasons.

 Definitions. (ORS 125.005)

  • Protective proceeding: any proceeding governed by ORS Chapter 125. Generally this includes guardianships, conservatorships, temporary guardianships and conservatorships, but can also include other actions, including direct court action in the person's affairs
  • Protective order: a court order to protect the person or the estate of a respondent or protected person.
  • Respondent: a person for whom a protective order is sought.
  • Protected Person: a person for whom a protective order has been issued.
  • Fiduciary: a person appointed to assume duties for a Protected Person under Chapter 125. Generally, this includes a guardian or conservator or temporary guardian or conservator.
  • Guardian: a person appointed to be responsible for the Protected Person. For the court to appoint a guardian, the person must be "incapacitated" and in need of a guardian.
  • Conservator: a person appointed to be responsible for the estate of a Protected Person.
  • Incapacitated: a condition in which a person is impaired to the extent of being unable to meet the essential requirements for the person's physical health or safety. These "essential requirements" include providing health care, food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene, and other care without which serious physical injury or illness is likely to occur. ORS 125.005(5).
  • Visitor: a person appointed by the court to interview and evaluate a respondent or Protected Person. The law requires the court to appoint a visitor to make a report before a guardian is appointed for an adult respondent. The court may appoint visitors other times also.

Guardian's Report

The report must be filed 30 days after the anniversary of the guardian's appointment each year, unless the court grants an extension of time. 

  • Deschutes County does require a guardian's report for guardianships of minor children. (Some counties do not.)
  • The law requires the guardian to send copies of the report to certain people. These people are: 
  • the protected person;
  • the protected person's conservator, if any; and
  • any person who has filed with the court a request for notice of the proceedings. (To find out who has requested notice, go to the Records office on the second floor of the Deschutes County Courthouse.)

Each year, the guardian should fill out and send to the court a proof of mailing to show that the guardian sent the copies of the report as required by law.

Placement in a Residential Facility

  • The guardian must file a statement with the court before placing an adult protected person in a residential facility. (A "residential facility" includes a foster care home, a nursing home, a mental health treatment facility, and so on.)
  • The statement tells the court where the guardian intends to place the protected person.
  • The guardian must also give notice of the placement to the protected person and others as required by statute before placing the protected person. The guardian must give the court proof that this notice was made.
  • Failure to provide notice to the court or the interested parties is grounds for removing the guardian.