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My husband and his brother are taking his dad to court on Friday for our temporary guardianship hearing. Dr's report confirms he needs one and this all came about since his girlfriend took him on vacation and had a secret marriage and didn't tell us about it for 6 weeks until he let it slip. We asked her to sign a post nup and she said no. she then took him to put her on all of his accounts and changed his trust fund to her name. He always told us he wouldn't marry her and in the mental evaluation he said he wasn't married. He doesn't even remember it. She shut of his phone and won't give us the number. She has completely isolated him from his kids and his grandkids. In his interview he said his kids want to take all of his money and put him in a home which I am sure she is telling him that. We asked the attorney if we could talk to him on fathers day and they responded that he is mad and we can send him a letter or a card. This is awful. My kids want to see their grandfather and my husband wants to talk to his dad. Now she is fighting us for full guardianship over him. We can only hope the courts can see the truth of what this woman is doing. I guess no question here but just need some support. I don't know how everyone does it. This AD is devastating to all involved. Thanks for listening.

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This situation is why my husband and I had a trust set up that takes half of our assets and puts them in a family trust for our kids if one of us dies. The surviving spouse only has access to that money if they spend the other half and it's deemed necessary. We're in our 60's and our attorney recommended this. He's seen too many remarriages where the new spouse takes advantage of an older widow or widower with dementia.
I've read enough on this website to know he was right:)
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Goodluck Mojo22!
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Update: went to court for temp hearing and judge decided he didnt want to hear any testimony until the full trial. He did freeze all accounts until the trial and is giving FIL monthly allowance. Also giving us visitation rights and phone number. It was sad to see how much he has deteriorated in the last couple of months. At least we can get in now an evaluate for ourselves the level of care he really needs and wait 3 months for the trial.
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Mojo, do some research on your own. I vaguely remember coming across something on a legal website, within the last year or so, addressing marriage by someone who wasn't capable of making decisions. it might have been another state though.

Still, even if he was allowed to marry, dementia would preclude proper and I believe assumption of legality of documents he might have executed.
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That's what we are hoping to do. However our attorney advised us that marriage is a civil right and even with dementia they are allowed to marry.
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If FIL was not able to make informed decisions at the time of this marriage it should be null and void. Check on getting it annulled after you go to court.
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yes we have a doctors evaluation. says he is need of a conservatorship and guardian. That is def not in question anymore. We already know he can't use a phone. He even turned off his cell phone bc he didn't know how to use it anymore. It's just now if she will win or his 2 sons.
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Hopefully you at least have a doctor's letter stating incompetence, but it doesn't sound like it. Ask the court for an evaluation of him by a doctor of your choosing. Ask for dad to make a call from his cell phone. What else can you ask the court to order that could possibly show his level of incompetence?
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I think she took him to that vacation spot b/c it had memories for him, and she played on those memories. Sounds like she "had her cap set for him" .
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new wife is 68 and works full time. They won't tell us how they met. He can't remember and just says 'we just met" and she won't tell us. Yes he was married before for 47 years and she passed away after a quick battle with cancer. Then he slipped into a depression and started drinking and then the dementia came on quick. He got into a car accident and totaled his car so it was at least easy to have him stop driving. its so frustating. We went from being a family to having this person isolate him from us and there is nothing we can do but wait for court. she took him to the vacation spot that him and his wife went to every year and where he spread his wife's ashes and thats where she had him marry her. such a slap in our faces.
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Just out of curiosity, how old is the new wife? How did he meet her? Was she married before?

Someone last year posted about a similar situation; the woman had more than a few husbands and seemed to have some black widow qualities, at least at the level of pursuing men, marrying them, and moving on to another catch after they had passed.

I don't have anything more to offer now, but let me digest the situation. It must be so frustrating for you.
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Thanks for the responses. We did contact 8 different attorneys. All for elder law. We found 1 that is willing to help. My FIL is a retired attorney as well. My husband was POA for the past 3 years and after the secret marriage we got a letter in the mail from where the funds are saying the address was changed. When we called the wife told us that banks are lying to him so she closed the accounts. Then we called his attorney and he confirmed changes were made and POA was changed to his wife. Yes he requested the changes. We informed him that he was not competent and the attorney said he seemed fine in the office. So since then she/him have changed the trust to have her name on it, changed POA to her and opened all joint accounts. He said in his mental evaluation that he had done for court that he wants to leave everything to her bc he is mad at his sons for going to court. We asked if the number was changed or shut off. All his attorney will say is that he is fine. I said he needs access to a phone even though I know he can't use it. His 2 sons are his only next of kin. However the marriage is now providing an entire new layer to this. We want to have it annulled but the even the mental evaluation dr says he says he loves her and we need to consider his feelings. She does wants he wants and not what is best. We are assumming the temp guardianship/conservatorship will be joint until the trial which is in 3 months. Of course he says he loves her bc she is the only person around. We have not been able to have any contact for 2 months. Our attorney has requested but they always deny bc "he is mad". Hope that updates my story. My husband is in healthcare and his brother is an attorney. We were his POA for 3 years and never took a penny so we are not out to get his money and throw him in a home. Just hoping the judge can see we just want our FIL, gpa, father back.
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I see a few inconsistences as well. I'm also finding as CM observes that it's hard to understand why guardianship wouldn't be granted to the family. Perhaps there's something missing, some background information that hasn't been shared.

Either way, I also hope the family is able to get results from their actions and that the abuse described is stopped, by legal intervention.
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I can find only two but they are choice:

My Story of Elder Abuse: Internet Romance Scams and the devastating consequences
I'm living a nightmare watching a woman 50 years younger than my 80-year-old father coerce him into marriage, manipulate him and taking his money all in the name of "love". The relationship started as Ghanian romance scam (usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/romance-scams/) and after we uncovered it was a male in Ghana pretending to be an American woman, it eventually led to a Ghanian woman residing in Cuba, showing up at my father's doorstep and coercing him into marriage two weeks later. The story is long, complex, and out of this world so I won't go into it here. We've tried it all: FBI, USICE/immigration, State Dept., AARP, private investigators, the District Attorney, police, adult protective services, elder abuse attorney's and filing for conservatorship. The harsh reality I'm learning is though the crime is so blantently obvious to everyone, I'm told over and over by the authorities that individuals have the right to abuse themselves. My father is showing serious signs of dementia but his executive functioning is still intact and we cannot get him to see a neuropsychologist without a long and painful court battle. To the outside world, he comes accross as just fine, but my normally mild-mannered, extremely rational and brilliant father has had explosive and violent episodes, personality changes, impulsive behavior, and has been induly influenced and taken advantage of over an over again. He cannot see that people are lying to him even though the lies are later revealed to him. I've had a huge reality check just how powerful civil liberties to make bad decisions are in the USA along with the financial rights that coexist in marriage, no matter how corrupt. I'm not writing for advice since I know in my heart my father is not well and is no longer the father I know and love. What I want to know is if anyone else has experienced elder financial abuse in their family, and romance scams or partner abuse in particular. I want to hear your story. I am appaled that though financial elder abuse is rampant throughout the USA, and internet romance scams are only on the rise, there seems to be no major initiatives or policies to protect our vulnerable elders. Thank you.
Father in law with AD secretively got married and now bank accounts have been changed. Any advice?


My father in law has stage 5 AD and went on vacation with his girlfriend and got married but didn't tell his family, only hers. My husband is POA and we just got a letter today that the address of the IRA has been changed. We called and he said he didn't make any changes but then a few hours later talking to the new wife she said they had to make changes. He then yells at us and said we are only after his money and he changed his trust and its none of our business. We just talked to an attorney last week about getting conservatorship and guardianship but all of this has now happened. We wanted an annulment but seems impossible in the state of Iowa. This is such a mess and we are very concerned for his health and well being. I feel for everyone else that has had to deal with this. His psychiatric evaluation 3 years ago came back that he was extremely low functioning. Surely we can get him declared incompetent. She refused to sign a post nup. She has isolated us and tells him we are after his money even though we have been POA for 2 years and never took a dime of his money. Almost every attorney has been telling us not much we can do. Anyone in here in state of Iowa and had success?


On the face of it, one can't imagine how the court would not look sympathetically on the sons' application for guardianship and I wish the family a good outcome.
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Okay, I did find one earlier post:

https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/my-story-of-elder-abuse-internet-romance-scams-and-the-devastating-consequences-437197.htm.

This isn't Mojo's thread, but she did address the guardianship. For ease of subsequent readers, this is what she wrote 2 months ago:

"Going through it now. My father in law has moderate dememtia and we just found out he got married. She wont sign a postnup and they hid the marriage from us. Every attorney tells us we prob wont win but we have to try."

Mojo, could you update us on what's happened since then? On what basis has the "every attorney" opined that you won't win? How many attorneys did you consult, and were their practice areas elder law or contested guardianships?
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Also, this situation sounded familiar to me as well, but there's no way I can check because your "Answers" function isn't enabled in your profile. Doing that would help posters recall what you might or might not have posted earlier on a similar topic.

Otherwise, posters have to use the search function to try to locate any previous threads.
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Mojo, no one can "change" a trust fund to someone else's name other than the individual who created it, absent any specific authority in the trust to do so.

So either the change was a forgery, or she convinced your FIL to execute a restated or new trust. If he didn't understand what he was doing and was tricked or coerced, this probably constitutes elder abuse as well as fraud.

How did you find out about the new trust? Have you seen it? If so, was it prepared by an attorney? If so, contact that attorney and make him/her aware of the situation, that your father wasn't competent enough to sign legal documents. If it wasn't prepared by an attorney and looks like an amateurish job, pursue the elder abuse issue.

Your state may have an elder law agency; Michigan does (Elder Law of Michigan). Contact them, or the state or local county bar association and ask about similar agencies that address elder law, and elder law abuse issues. The state Attorney General should have jurisdiction over this issue as well.

Ask the attorney who's handling the guardianship about injunctive relief to prevent her from confiscating or spending any assets. Do that notwithstanding any action on the guardianship.

With a contested guardianship, there's likely to be an outside guardian appointed. Be prepared for that; it will be costly, but it'll prevent the new wife from confiscating the assets b/c the guardian will take over everything financial.

To prepare for the hearing, itemize everything that you can factually support, changes in bank account titles, etc. And bring any letters or statements attesting to his inability to make decisions of a legal or financial nature. Bring copies of the documents if you can get them, including the new signature cards for bank accounts.

BTW, how did you find out about this beyond what he told you? Did your FIL tell you the accounts and trust had been retitled?

Your attorney can ask that the new documents can be admitted into evidence as exhibits. I would be that the new Mrs. is going to come prepared with her own attorney, so you should be as well.

On another issue. When you write that she "shut off his phone and won't give you the number", did she actually disconnect phone service, or did she change the number?

There's a big difference because no elder person should be without phone service. Someone with dementia should have a land line, not a cell or smart phone. If there's no phone service, there's no way for emergency service, and this might be construed as isolation as well as elder abuse.
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Oh, I am so sorry that you are having to spend Father's Day without your Father/Grandfather.

(Have you posted previously about your situation? It sounds familiar. I couldn't find it listed under your profile.)

I hope that the Temporary Guardianship Hearing results are what is best for your Father. Just have all of your "Ducks in a Row" and do not get emotional during the hearing. Be as professional as you can be. Good Luck and God Bless!
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