People in Oregon can be appointed guardians for all kinds of reasons. They may be too young to look after their own affairs. They may be incapacitated after an accident or have a disability.
Two years ago, the Oregon Legislature handed people under guardianship a major victory. It passed a law requiring people with guardians be properly notified when a court appoints someone to oversee their daily activities, such as banking or renting an apartment.
In June, Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 190 to update that law, ensuring that notification of guardianship is actually understandable to people receiving the care.
“That means, often times, orally describing the guardianship and also using language that most people understand, not legal jargon,” said Jake Cornett with Disability Rights Oregon, which advocated for the change.
The new law might also mean the paperwork for guardianship be provided in large print, for example, to someone who has low vision.
“The core of this is all about a guardian working with the person they’ve been appointed guardianship over, to help them understand what’s going on,” Cornett said. “That’s the most important thing and the whole thrust behind this bill.”