Category Archives:

Seeking Guardianship In The State Of Oregon

gavel and book
There are many different reasons someone may seek guardianship of a child or an adult. At Johnson and Taylor, LLC, our family law and probate attorneys have years of experience handling all types of guardianship proceedings. We can help you understand what is involved in the process and guide you through it from beginning to end.

What Is A Legal Guardian?

A guardian has the legal authority to make personal and health care decisions for a minor, developmentally disabled adult or an adult who has become incapacitated. Generally, the duties of a guardian are to oversee the welfare and safety of the person under guardianship, which may include making decisions about health care, education, place of residence and finances. A guardian is appointed by the court, and the duties and responsibilities of a guardian vary depending on which type of guardianship is granted.

Child Guardianship

Guardianship determinations are made by the court in the best interests of the child. Oregon law permits any suitable person to petition the family court for guardianship of a minor. Guardianship does not terminate the birth parents’ rights but does give the guardian the responsibilities of a custodial parent.  Involuntary guardianships (without the parents’ consent) are only granted when parents are unwilling or unable to adequately care for a child. A guardian does not have a legal obligation to support the child financially, but the weight of financial support often falls on a guardian’s shoulders.

To seek guardianship of a minor, you must file a petition with the applicable probate court. Depending on the situation and the type of guardianship you’re seeking, this area of the law can be complex. Whether you are a grandparent, step-parent, friend or other family member, if you’re seeking guardianship of a minor, having an experienced family law attorney in your corner is vital to ensure that the best interests of the child are served. If you’re a parent who wishes to give temporary authority to someone to care for your child, a power of attorney may be more appropriate than guardianship.

Adult Guardianship

Guardianship and conservatorship for adults are typically handled in the Oregon probate court and are granted when a person lacks the capacity to make suitable decisions regarding their health and safety. A petition to appoint a guardian must be served on the incapacitated person and next of kin such as a spouse, children or siblings, who may file objections. Petitions for guardianship can be contentious, especially if there are multiple persons contesting the guardianship.

Contact A Guardianship Lawyer In Oregon

Our skilled and compassionate attorneys understand how challenging the guardianship process can be and fight to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected. Call us at 503-990-6641 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

The Importance Of Having A Will

Having a will can prevent conflict and help your loved ones save time and money in the event of your death. It’s essential to seek the counsel of experienced estate planning attorneys who make sure your wishes are carried out in the event of your passing. Our experienced estate planning attorneys help you create a will that reflects your wishes and protects your family’s rights and interests.

will with glasses and pen

What Is A Will?

A will is a legal document that indicates how you wish to have your property distributed after your death. Regardless of the number of assets you own, having a will is vital, especially if you’re a parent of young children. In your will, you name a personal representative (executor) who administers your estate. Your will also allows you to appoint a legal guardian for your children and plan how they will be provided for after your death. Your will must be in writing and signed by you and two witnesses. There are many legal formalities that apply to wills in the state of Oregon, so having knowledgeable estate planning attorneys assist you with drafting your will is a must.

Why Should I Have A Will?

When you die without a will, the state will distribute your estate based on the laws of intestate succession. The probate court chooses a personal representative to fill the role of executor. If you’ve been selected to serve as executor of an estate, it’s important to keep in mind that it can be a time-consuming task that involves many responsibilities. An estate planning lawyer can assist you with the probate process and help you understand how it works.

Oregon’s intestacy law gives your property to your relatives, starting with your spouse and children. If you don’t have a spouse or children, your grandchildren or parents inherit your property. Siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and your spouse’s relatives may all be potential beneficiaries of your estate, depending on your family situation. If the court finds that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, your property goes to the state of Oregon. If any of your beneficiaries are in debt, their inheritance may be subject to the claims of their creditors.

Probate

Probate is the process by which the deceased’s property is distributed and debts are paid. To initiate the probate process, a petition must be filed with the probate court. The probate process usually takes about six to nine months, even with a will. If you don’t have a will at the time of your death, the process can be much more drawn out and costly.

The Importance Of Trusts

Although having a will is vital, it covers only your probate property, which means that your will includes only property owned solely by you at the time of your death. A revocable living trust offers many benefits beyond those of a simple will and can help your family cut probate costs and save on estate taxes.

If you need assistance with drafting your will, contact our caring team of estate planning attorneys at 503-990-6641 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

More personal injury case results

A sample of recent personal injury claims successfully resolved:

Client came to us after being severely injured in a pedestrian vs. car collision.  Three months after the accident, client still had not been able to find any insurance or other relevant details about the at-fault driver.  Client did not have uninsured motorist coverage because client did not drive.  Client was injured and had medical bills piling up; client felt hopeless.  Within a few weeks of calling our office, we found applicable automobile insurance and, within a few months of calling our office, we were able to secure a policy limits offer as well as confirming that the medical bills were being processed and paid.

Clients were involved in a major accident which required one client to have multiple surgeries with medical bills amounting to more than $115,000.  We were able to secure essential services for clients – clients did not work outside the home and needed in-home assistance with chores,etc.  We also received a policy limits settlement from the at-fault driver and a policy limits settlement from client’s underinsured motorist protection.  Additionally, Medicare claimed a substantial reimbursement right from the settlements.  We negotiated with Medicare to significantly reduce its claim and, thereafter, resolved clients’ insurance claims.

Client contacted our office with only 4 months remaining before the two-year personal injury claim deadline.  Client’s doctor eventually suggested surgery but client was hesitant because of his past, similar surgeries.  Client ultimately decided on surgery but the insurance company disputed that the need for surgery was caused by the accident in part due to client’s surgical history and significant delay in having the injury evaluated after the accident.  We were able to secure a policy limits offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company as well as an underinsured motorist settlement, all before having to spend money on litigation.

Client was injured when stepping out of a vehicle onto a walkway/sidewalk which was made of bricks.  Some of the bricks were loose and caused client to fall.  The walkway was owned by the city.  We gave proper and timely notice to the city as required by law.  The city initially denied any liability on its part.  The city also disputed the extent of the injuries and part of the medical bills.  Eventually, we were able to resolve the claim to include compensation for client’s pain and suffering and payment of all medical expenses.

Call us now if you would like to discuss your case with a qualified personal injury attorney.  Personal injury consults are free!

 

Uninsured Motorist

As you probably know, being involved in a car accident can have drastic physical, emotional and financial consequences, especially when you are hit by an uninsured driver. Our personal injury lawyers are equipped to help you through this difficult process – give us a call any time to see how we can help.

Woman at car crash.

What is Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist (UM) is a part of your auto insurance policy that covers you when an uninsured driver hurts you or damages your car.  Underinsured motorist (UIM) is used when a driver’s liability insurance is inadequate and will not cover the total amount of your damages.

Oregon law currently requires motorists to carry insurance of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per auto accident to cover bodily injury to others. Oregon Law also requires motorists to carry UM and UIM insurance – this protects you and passengers in your car!  Call our personal injury attorneys free of charge to help you understand this coverage better – we are happy to help.

Dealing With Your Insurance Company

Although filing a claim for an accident with an uninsured driver involves only your insurance company, it can get complicated. Your insurance company may try to minimize the damages of an accident to avoid paying you full compensation for your damages. If you’re unsure about the process of filing a claim or have questions about your Uninsured Motorist coverage, our experienced car accident attorneys can guide you through the claims process and communicate with your insurance company so you can focus on healing.

At Johnson and Taylor, our attorneys are well-versed in dealing with uninsured motorist and other personal injury claims. Our compassionate and experienced legal team serves clients in Salem, Portland, and surrounding areas, and Marion, Polk, and Linn counties. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact us to schedule your free consultation today.  We’ll take it from here.