Can my sister who has been MIA for years take guardianship over my mom?

Follow
Share

Dad died in June, he and Mom left me general POA and full authority over advance health care directive. Dad knew that I would have these issues and he tried to protect us the best he could. I am caretaker to mom who has Alzheimer's dementia, is on oxygen 24/7 . I am youngest of siblings. Mom and I both received papers in the mail stating we are being summoned to a hearing on Aug. 14 to determine guardianship of mom. Mom is happy with me at her house. Siblings are unhappy as I am to inherit the family home after mom passes. They are greedy and want house sold. All of their previous lies and rants to APS, and sheriff office has been unfounded. Sister even went so far as to post pics of my messy house (I had pneumonia and teen son had gallbladder surgery the week before.) She marched into my house... taking photos of my chaos of the moment. Not once has she or my brother ever offered help... only criticize. They turned me into APS COUNTLESS TIMES. CPS, was called the day before my dad died (hospice in my living room.) They told CPS that there was a meth lab in our HOME! And I was forced to take an immediate drug test which I passed... They said I was abusing mom's medications. She needs shoulder surgery, both hips and knees redone. Her heart cannot tolerate surgery. I take the best care if my mom that I possibly can. It's not easy... it's downright exhausting most days. I have the support of a very repidudable home health agency, APS has found no reasons for concern. And law enforcement stands behind me. And still I get this letter today. Just to upset me. My mom is happy with me and my care. She can't stop crying thinking she will lose her home and our new level of normal since losing Dad June 20. He passes at 2:30 am. Family didn't leave until 6 am. My siblings came by at 8am to take mom to breakfast. I had to wake her so she could go. They skipped breakfast and instead took her to her bank. She sat down at a desk where she couldn't hear and my sister cleaned out her savings accounts, had her credit and debit cards declared lost and unusable. They didn't bring her back home until after 9pm that same night. Friends came to offer her their condolences and she was no where to be found.
Can my siblings actually take her from her home of 60+ years and away from my care when I have done nothing but give her all of my loving care and time? Does she have any say in this at all? Will judge listen to what SHE ACTUALLY WANTS?
Thanks in advance to all who respond and give me advice. I am disabled myself and our financial situation is not good... so I appreciate any and all help full suggestions. We live in Utah.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
25

Answers

Show:
The judge will listen to what your mother wants, yes, and will also pay attention to evidence of your father's and your mother's consistent and formally stated wishes as laid down in their directives.

So that will be one important factor. But there are others; and what the judge will primarily be concentrating on is your mother's best interests now and going forward.

Your siblings are going to point to a household where a disabled person with a teenage son and scant financial resources of her own is attempting to provide 24/7 care for an elderly widow who has Alzheimers Disease and requires oxygen (so she has other health difficulties as well, yes?). Whereas were the house to be sold, the resources could be directed into high quality professional care in an appropriate setting for your mother's needs, which would also free you to get your life back on track and concentrate on your son.

Please note, I'm not against you. I just think it is important for you to see clearly what the argument is going to be, and especially to understand that when it comes to the pros and cons your siblings have a good case.

How are you going to rebut it? Well, there's your mother's wishes, and your parents' clear plan for your mother to stay in her home with your support and for you to inherit the home on her passing. But even the best-laid plans still have to adapt to present realities.

You're exhausted, broke and overstretched. You have a son. You have disabilities. So why DO you think the best possible plan is for you to carry on in the teeth of your family's opposition? Have you considered alternatives?

Go into court with a closed mind, tell the judge how hard your life is, accuse your siblings of being callous greedy bastards with no merit to their application at all; and your siblings will come out with guardianship before you can say "WHAT meth lab?" You need constructive, forward-thinking advice from an experienced lawyer. Why not ask around among your contacts at APS and the care agency and see if they can recommend one. The bill goes to your mother, by the way: she's the client.
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

Since your MIA sister is trying to get guardianship for your mother, I would get a lawyer to fight it and to present your case for why you are the better pick for guardian. I hope this works out in your favor.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

If you cannot find a lawyer then just represent yourself. Take new photos of the house. But definately show up to court to make your statements. Explain how mom is living in a safe environment. Do mention sister's outing about the trip to the bank. I would also raise concern where sis expects mom to live. Let her show. her true colors to the judge. If they lose the case consider getting a restraining order against her
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

There are now legal penalties for false reports to APS. Mention those to the judge as well. Medicaid rule in many states is that the family caregiver can remain in the house until death then will take the house as a result of liens over the years. Get the home care agency to testify regarding the care that you provide and neighbors and anyone else you can think of. Someone from the bank should also testify and they probably have video that can be used to help you. Get mom's doctor to write a letter or testify about mom's care needs and how you meet that.

And find an attorney.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

kpitts0949, first my heartfelt sympathy for the passing of your Dad.

Run don't walk to your phone and make an appointment to see an Elder Law Attorney. The Attorney can advise you of what to do regarding all these situations that are going on.

As for inheriting the family home, please note that with Alzheimer's/dementia there will come a time when Mom will need skilled nursing care. Otherwise you would be caring for your Mom 168 hours per week with hardly any sleep. Note that 40% of caregivers die leaving behind the love one they were caring.

Usually what most people do if they are unable to budget cost of bringing into the home skilled caregivers or to self-pay for a skilled nursing facility is for Mom to apply for Medicaid [which is different from Medicare].

Medicaid will put a lien on the house. Once Mom passes on, then Medicaid will ask that the house be sold, and the equity from the house will go to Medicaid to reimburse the money they paid for her care. Any money left over then will be split among the siblings or however the Will is written.

Oh by the way, the same thing will happen even if your sister gets guardianship. If the house is sold, the equity belongs to Mom for the next 5 years, as Medicaid has a 5 year look back. Any money taken from Mom will be deducted from her care, and your sister would need to pay the difference.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

If you are on SSI you will probably have a tough time fighting this with a lawyer because of the costs involved. If you can't afford the lawyer you see ask for info on where you can get free legal aid services or for someone who might work this case for you pro bono.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

If Mom can no longer make decisions, then what siblings did was illegal. It's theft. If Mom ever needs Medicaid what they did would be count against her. Yes, you need a lawyer.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Sorry to hear you are going through this. Can you take your mother to the hearing to testify as to her wishes and the money theft? Bank statements showing the withdrawals will help along with all other documentation about being turned in to APS without just cause. The judge will see the good dynamics between you and your mom and the evil on the faces of the siblings. This getting old stuff is tough...
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Countrymouse, I support your input and hope the OP will get the most out of it.  The lawyer and courts can be of assistance to you vs. just a forum for this dispute.  You may be better served by more assistance, which Mom can qualify for and you all deserve.  Good luck and god bless.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Country mouse has good points. You seem to be able to get reports showing that families claims are unfounded.
Now about siblings being able to just walk in. Change the locks. I wouldn't trust them not to steal from you. If my Mom was asleep I would not have waken her. They awake in a confused state. We're u on Mom's accounts? Then I think out of courtesy the bank should have called you. Then u could have informed them Mom was not able to make those kind of decisions. Laws need to change when it comes to bank accounts when it comes to joint accts. No one should be able to clean the other out. Let a lawyer deal with this.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions