My sister (61) has mental retardation. When Mother passes how do I become her guardian?

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She has never been in any kind of home for people like herself. I was told to become her guardian we would have to go to court and the judge will decided who is better to take care of her. My other family member who has their own homes and are receiving retirement benefit. I am renting and still looking for work. I will be doing early retirement in one years but I still do not have a two bedroom apartment. Of all my family member I am the only one who do all the things for my mother and sister. The rest of my family just give lip service with no help at all. Other then become her guardian do I need a power of attorney? What do I do about become her guardian? Can I do my own power of attorney online since we don't have a lot of money for an attorney to do this,.

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I think you should consider getting your sister into a group home for others with developmental disabilities. That way, she'll be set up if she outlives the rest of the family. She can do her adjusting while you're still around to help her. And she can enjoy activities with other folks with developmental disabilities.

I did a volunteer bowling event recently with NWSRA, the Northwest Special Recreation Association that is located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The participants were terrific and had all kinds of activities (bowling, camp, dude ranch trips, basketball). They knew each other and had a great time bowling. It was a very fun event to chaperone. Some of the participants were your sister's age or older.

I know in the Chicagoland area there are a number of live-in facilities to help folks like your sister. Misericordia is the first one that comes to mind. Here's their website:
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It's a shame that these decisions weren't made and in place before Mom passed away. It would have made things so much easier for you. Living arrangements aside, will you be able to care for your sister for the rest of her life? Does she have an income? If you are looking for work, what are you retiring from? Do you mean to say that you will begin collecting Social Security?

Who has been going to the doctor with her up until now? I'm not sure that your sister can assign Power of Attorney to you with her diminished mental capacity. She would have to be able to understand exactly what she is doing and why. It would have to be notarized even if you do download the form from the internet.

If you can, find out if there a legal aid society or someone who donates (pro bono) their legal expertise at no cost. You will need to apply to be her guardian for the best results. The judge can temporarily assign guardianship to someone, delaying the permanence for a while if they think your situation can improve. You never know until you try. Good luck.
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