Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Guardians & Conservators

Guardianships and Conservatorships Attorneys
When loved ones can't handle their own financial or personal affairs, the court can give that authority to another person, known as a guardian and/or conservator. The role of a guardian is to manage a person’s physical care, while a conservator handles financial matters. 

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Guardianships and Conservatorships Attorneys

In order for a person to be declared physically or mentally incapable (and therefore requiring of guardianship or conservatorship), a court-appointed professional (called a “court visitor”) is tasked with assessing the individual in question to determine whether the appointment of a guardian or conservator is appropriate.  In making this determination, the court visitor reviews medical records and interviews the individual, family members and treating physicians. The court visitor’s findings are summarized and submitted to the court in a formal report. Ultimately, the judge uses this report to determine whether a legal guardian or conservator is required.

Protected Persons

Both a legal guardianship and a conservatorship are established with relation to a “protected person”. The protected person is someone who has been declared incompetent or unable to manage aspects of their life such as finances or physical care for him or herself properly. Minors are also considered protected persons. A person may be considered incapacitated for a variety of reasons, but ultimately, each determination of conservatorship or guardianship must be decided on a case-by-case basis.


If a conservatorship is required; the court appoints a conservator to act on behalf of the protected person. Conservatorship may be granted on a permanent, temporary, or limited basis. In each case, the conservator is granted the power to make decisions on behalf of the protected person with regard to the protected person’s finances and legal affairs. Conservators are obligated to take inventory of the protected person’s assets and finances, and handle the protected person’s responsibilities and financial obligations such as paying bills, depositing checks and paying taxes. Because of the broad powers given to conservators, and to ensure the protected person’s assets are used properly, courts require conservators to submit detailed annual accountings.


While the conservator looks over the protected person’s legal and financial interests, the guardian is responsible for their physical health and wellbeing. This is especially necessary if the protected person suffers from mental or physical handicap, or can otherwise not care for themselves. Once appointed, the guardian has authority to make healthcare and medication decisions on behalf of the protected person, and act in their best interest on such matters. If there is an immediate threat to the protected person, it may be possible to file for temporary guardianship, which allows for the expedited appointment of a guardian.

We Can Help.

Gevurtz Menashe estate planning attorneys have experience with guardianships and conservatorships on : temporary, permanent and limited basis. Contact us today by calling our Portland office at 503-227-1515 or our Vancouver office at 360-823-0410, or contact us online for more information.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.