In general this outlines the process that leads to a decision about appointing a guardian:
- In order for a guardianship petition to be filed, evidence to support an allegation that the proposed protected person is incapacitated needs to be present.
- As part of the process, the proposed protected person will be assessed and a recommendation made about who will serve as the Guardian.
- A petition will be prepared (usually by an attorney) and signed by the person alleging incapacity. The petition specifies the need for guardianship and is filed with the county court. The attorney prepares the documents and the petitioner signs the documents for the appointment of a guardian.
- Notice is given to all interested parties. This will include the proposed protected person, spouse, parents, adult children, the proposed protected person’s attorney, and others identified in ORS 125.
- There is a notice period, during which time any interested party to the proposed guardianship may file objections with the court and request a hearing. Also during this time, an independent court visitor evaluates the need for the guardianship and the suitability of the proposed guardian, and makes a report back to the court.
- If a hearing is scheduled, evidence will be presented as to the need for guardianship. The proposed protected person will be represented by an attorney during a hearing process. At the hearing, the petitioner must clearly demonstrate to the court that the proposed protected person lacks the ability to give informed consent and has a decisional incapacity resulting in the need for a guardian.
- The final decision will be made by the court, whether or not there is a hearing, as to the appointment of a guardian, who it will be, and what the scope of the authority of the guardian will be.