In Oregon, a conservator is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and property of someone who is not able to do so alone. A conservator can be an individual, a public official or an institution.
The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Conservatorship Program serves veterans and their surviving spouses, their immediate family members, minor children and helpless adult children of veterans, and dependents’ parents.
ODVA’s trust officers are experts in USDVA law and regulation, and work closely with interested family members when planning for the welfare and best interest of the veteran, their spouse or dependent.
When is a conservator needed?
When an individual has a substantial amount of income, assets or property and
is unable to manage his or her finances well enough to provide adequate care
themselves, a conservator may be needed. This may be due to mental illness or deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic
use of drugs or controlled substances, disappearance or confinement, chronic
intoxication, or because the individual is a minor.
Other reasons a conservator may be needed is if an individual is using income and
assets to his or her own detriment or if they are being taken advantage of
financially by another person.
What does a conservator do?
A conservator administers the financial estate of a protected person according to
provisions of Oregon Revised Statutes, Title 13, Chapter 125. A
conservator gains possession of all income and assets and establishes a
personal budget and pays for care, personal needs, dependent support, property
maintenance, etc., according to that budget. A conservator applies for
all benefits for which the protected person may be eligible and invests or
otherwise conserves unused funds.
An accounting of financial activities is submitted to the court, USDVA,
protected persons and others as required by law.
How much control does the conservator have over the protected person’s life?
A conservator assumes all responsibility for the financial affairs of the
protected person's estate. They are not directly responsible for the
personal affairs of the person, although the income and assets available may
limit the individual’s lifestyle.
Why use ODVA's program?
ODVA’s trust officers have an extensive knowledge of USDVA laws and regulations. They have a network of contacts with information about Social Security,
Medicare, public assistance, special senior citizen, disabled and low income
programs. They investigate income sources the protected person may be
eligible for and work closely with family and interested persons when planning
for the welfare of the protected person.
Oregon law (ORS 406.050) gives the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’
Affairs the authority to act, without bond, as conservator of the estate of a
person who qualifies for benefits from the USDVA.
Starting a conservatorship
A petition asking for the appointment of a conservator may be submitted to a
court by anyone interested in the estate, affairs or welfare of the
person. This includes parents, guardian, custodians or any person who
would be adversely affected by lack of effective management of the property or
affairs. The court appoints a conservator and the order remains in effect
until the person’s condition improves, majority is reached or until death.
What fees are charged?
A seven percent fee on all income under management may be charged for ordinary
conservatorship services. Additional fees may be charged for unusual
services provided. ODVA’s rate is significantly less than that of private
conservatorship services. Fees may also be waived in individual cases if
circumstances warrant such action.
For more information: Call ODVA at 503-373-2085 or toll-free at 1-800-692-9666. TDD: 503-373-2217.