Suzanne Rowe is a National Certified Guardian and is experienced in the areas of probate and protective proceedings. She earned her BA in Sociology with honors from the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and successfully completed the paralegal studies program at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is a former paralegal and assistant to the Public Guardian Offices in DuPage and Kane Counties in Illinois where she was able to combine her passion for the law with advocating for seniors and the disabled. Her experience in both the legal field and as a professional fiduciary provide a comprehensive understanding of informed and compassionate services to her clients. She is a member and on the Board of Directors for the Guardian/Conservator Association of Oregon and is a member of the National Guardianship Association. Suzanne also volunteers as a Court Monitor with Guardian Partners.
Suzanne is a native of the Chicago area where she spent her life until moving to Portland in 2017. She is the mother of two grown children and her dog, Gracie. In her spare time, she loves exploring the wonders of the Pacific Northwest, spending time with family and gardening.
What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is an individual who has been given the authority to act as the primary decision maker for someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves. The word “fiduciary” is derived from the Latin word fidere, which means “to trust.”
The appointment of a guardian may be necessary when a person cannot make personal decisions for themselves. Whether due to a sudden or chronic illness, disability or incapacity, a legal guardian makes the necessary decisions on that person’s behalf taking into consideration the beliefs and values of the protected person. The guardian is responsible for their care and personal needs including housing and medical decisions. The guardian always works under the direction and supervision of the court.
A conservator may be appointed by the court to administer the financial affairs of someone who is incapable of doing so. The conservator has access to the protected person’s assets and monthly income. In this role, the conservator manages the payment of expenses, the purchase of services and goods and the sale of real estate or other assets. The conservator must make annual reports to the court on the status of the assets and expenses.
The court will appoint a personal representative to administer a decedent’s estate which requires probate. The personal representative, or executor, is typically named in a person’s Will. When there isn’t a Will, the court will name an individual to act on the behalf of the estate. The personal representative has the duty of carrying out the intentions of the decedent which includes identifying and noticing the heirs and beneficiaries, marshaling assets, paying final debts and expenses. The personal representative shall distribute the remaining estate assets and settle the estate as quickly as possible. The personal representative is considered an officer of the court.
Phone (503) 707-9228
Fax (503) 386-2656
P.O. Box 80909
Portland, OR 97280