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originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 879
Experience:  9+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
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I became guardian of my severely mentally handicapped

Customer Question

I became guardian of my severely mentally handicapped brother 2 years ago. The attorney fees to do this and set up a Special Needs Trust Fund amounted to over $4000. They send me a yearly update to submit to the court and with a request for attorney fees estimated to be around $600+. The attorney knows my brother has over 20k in this trust fund and how do I know they just don't want to get their hands on some of it. Can't I just send the update myself to the court without the attorney being involved? Do I really need to send an annual update to the court? I was told by someone who seems to know that this is not necessary and that once you are guardian that's it period. My brother has been mentally handicapped all his life and he has lived in a wonderful adult foster care home for over 6 years when my mother became too elderly to take care of him. The foster parents approached me to become his guardian, I did not seek it myself. Anyway back to my question. Am I required to send an annual report to the court? Absolutely nothing has changed in the 6 yrs. he has been living in foster care. If I do have to send in an annual report can't I just write a letter to the court and leave the attorney out it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, according to Oregon law, ORS 125.325,

you must file a report annually.

However, you do not have to use an attorney to file the report. As long as the report looks substantially like the form listed above in the code, it should be sufficient.

And on the attorney's fees note, they are not required to base their fee off your brother's assets. They can charge whatever they feel is a fair price for their work. But, on the other hand, you are not required to use them, so you can dismiss their services and proceed on your own. It really just depends on your level of comfort in doing so.