We had a guardianship and conservatorship set up when my parents moved to live with us. My father has dementia. My mother has always taken care of their finances. They have joint bank accounts, my dad's pension check is electronically deposited in their checking account. We don't feel the guardianship and conservatorship is appropriate for them. All involved believe this. How do we rescind this and do we have to file with the County (Curry) the financial reporting for the period it was in effect (02/25/2014) Thank you for your help.
Real Estate Attorney
Yes, the court will have to approve a final accounting and also your request to resign or rescind the guardianship/conservitorship. See ORS 125.230. http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/125.230
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You will also need to tell the court why the guardian and conservator are no longer needed.
Family Law Attorney
Guardians and conservators are appointed by the court and are answerable to the court for their actions. Even if a guardian or conservator wants to resign and everyone involved is okay with that, the resigning conservator or guardian must properly apply to the court for permission to be relieved of his or her duties. There are a number of reasons for this. One of them is the need for the court to determine if the protected person still needs a guardian or conservator and, if so, who the new guardian and conservator should be. The court wants a protected person who needs protection to be continually protected. Once a guardianship or conservatorship is established only the court, subject to the relevant statutes, has the authority to decide when it should end.
Once a guardianship and conservatorship has been established, it must be proven to the court that it is no longer necessary in order for it to be terminated. Before you ask the court to terminate, you should consult with any attorneys involved or seek the advice of an attorney if you did this without one-even if everyone is on board with terminating.
If your parents did not make powers of attorney and your father is no longer competent to execute one, you may want to try a two step process to avoid the time and expense if having to set up protective proceedings again down the road. All the parties could request your mother's protective status be terminated because she's able to manage her finances and care. At the same time, the conservator could request permission from the court to create a trust for your father and mother (but your mother would be able to help create the trust and sign the documents on her own behalf if her guardianship and conservatorship was terminated first). The trust could name your mother as trustee and name a successor trustee to act if she ever gets to the point of not being able to handle the finances. The conservator would be able to sign the trust on your father's behalf. After the trust was created, the court could terminate your fathers guardianship and conservatorship. That way, your mother would retain control of the finances for as long as she is able, and the successor trustee would be able to just step in to take care of everything when she is no longer able to without having to create new conservatorships. It would be very important that your mother have her own attorney in this process. As you're probably aware, conservatorships and guardianships are supervised by the court and can involve continuing administrative costs to comply with the statues-trusts are not supervised by the court.
Of course, whether or not this or some other planning for the future is appropriate or cost effective depends on your parents particular situation. Also, there may be some reason your mother or someone else should continue as guardian for your father but that a conservator is not necessary. Since you thought these protective proceeding were necessary just a little while ago, I would suggest that the options are worth looking into.
Nevertheless, however you and your mother decide to proceed, the accounting has to filed with the court.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
See an attorney, and be sure to ask for a conflicts check before proceeding. Note that a court appointed visitor has already informed the court professionally that a guardian and conservator were needed, and judge will want to know why that is not still the case.