When should I initiate conservatorship for my mom?


I have a POA for my mom, but she recently got agressive toward me and paranoid when I asked her to see a doctor to be sure she was safe to continue driving. She recently closed the account I'd set up with all her auto-pay household bills. When she closed her account, she neglected to notify SSA, and I assume the direct deposit did not occur. She's told other family members that she's destitute, and that I have control of all her money. I don't. I don't want to inhibit anything that she has set up, but at this point, I cannot get much information on what she has or has not paid, and I cannot get my relatives to get her to see a doctor. My ultimate concern is that I would very much like her to remain in this independent care facility for as long as possible, as she doesn't have enough money to cover a long stay in assisted care. Is this enough of a reason to initiate conservatorship, and how can I do this without an attorney?

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You should likely see an elder law attorney soon and see what should be done. You are right to be on top of this.
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I did take your advice some time ago - the elder law attorney had this advice. 1) The law is very black and white on this issue - they don't care if the person is incompetent 98% of the time ... the real test is whether or not they are rational or competent right now, at this moment. If they are deemed competent, and they do not wish you to be their conservator, the court will abide by that. The other options are to request a court-appointed conservator (they get paid - I don't). 2) If the conservatorship is contested, I would be required to pay all legal fees out of my own pocket - only if I win am I able to request that her trust reimburse me. And 3) Once I am appointed as a conservator, I become legally liable for my mom's debts.

The attorney was nice enough to review the case and determine that it would be difficult to win. They advised that they only thing I need to do to not be her POA was to simply stop acting on her behalf. They also pointed out that there are laws which the banks and creditors are required to honor (most of them don't) with regards to POA's.

My mom has recently moved in with my brother - he apparently convinced her to move in with him last month - and now he's rather sorry he did. He's under a lot of stress, and thinks he can move her into her own place, allow her to buy a trailer in a retirement Mobile Home park, and that she will be fine there. He's convinced her to do this, and doesn't want to consider what will happen in six months, when she wants to move again. It's not the best solution, but at least he's participating. I cannot do more at this stage, It grieves me to admit it - but I'm not part of the solution anymore. Let him realize how difficult the road ahead will be ... then maybe we'll have some common ground.
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